FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The financial peril of community mental health and addiction treatment organizations has never been greater.
That’s why the National Council for Mental Wellbeing launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Stay-at-home orders and other adjustment operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated behavioral health care providers and threatens access to care for those who rely on the life-saving treatment and services they offer.
In April, the National Council surveyed community behavioral health care organizations across the country who reported severe financial distress that may prevent them from helping people with mental illnesses and addiction.
Behavioral health care organizations told us:
- 61.8% have closed at least one program.
- Nearly all (92.6%) have reduced their operations.
- 46.7% have had to, or plan to, lay off or furlough employees because of COVID-19.
- Organizations have cancelled, rescheduled or turned away 31% of patients.
- 82.9% do not have enough personal protective equipment for two months of operations.
- 62.1% believe that they can survive financially for only three months or less under the COVID-19 conditions.
- Only 9.4% of organizations believe they could survive a year or more.
Despite an increase in telehealth services, barriers to access represent an imposing obstacle for people with mental illness or substance use disorders.
As a result, the National Council COVID-19 Relief Fund was established to help individuals with behavioral health care needs – and the providers who support them. One hundred percent of all donations will be dispersed to non-profit providers across the country to help them build their capacity to continue to provide safe, high-quality services.
Our goal is to ensure that community behavioral health care organizations remain open so they can provide treatment and services to their clients. America already is on the verge of a behavioral health crisis. New Census Bureau data shows that for every 100 American adults, 34 show symptoms of anxiety, depression or both – that means that one-third of Americans show signs of clinical anxiety or depression. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reported that telephone calls to its hotline increased 891% from March 2019 to March 2020.
Community behavioral health organizations will use financial donations to purchase such things as cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, tablets and food for providers that continue to treat the behavioral health needs of communities despite the risks to their own health. Technology donations will be used for the provision of telehealth services. The needs include unused tablets, iPads, computers, Wi-Fi hotspot enablers and other similar hardware.
If you haven’t made a donation yet, please consider making a small contribution. Every penny collected will go to our members.
Read more about the COVID-19 Relief Fund at thenationalcouncil.org/about/donate/.
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association. EIN# 23-7092671. Your donation is tax-deductible. U.S. Federal employees may donate through the Combined Giving Campaign, CFC # 11231.
About the National Council for Mental Wellbeing
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 3,326 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 2 million Americans have been trained.
About The National Council
Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,100 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 2.6 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.