National Council for Behavioral Health President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia today released the following statement in support of a letter from a coalition of organizations applauding the inclusion of $4.5 billion in funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The proposed funding was included in the Senate’s recently released Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act. Members of the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG), a coalition representing consumers, family members, mental health and substance use treatment providers, advocates and payers remind Congress that the additional proposed funding for SAMHSA would provide desperately needed resources to our nation’s mental health and substance use organizations and a wide array of programs that support those with mental illness and substance use.
“The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has threatened the physical health of millions of Americans. It has also caused the emotional health of Americans to deteriorate, and today our nation faces a vast mental health crisis. But as the need for addiction and mental health treatment and services grows, our ability to help those in need has declined. That is because behavioral health clinics and the programs they provide don’t have the resources to remain fully staffed. This proposed funding will help clinics across the country meet the immediate needs of people in mental health and substance use crisis.
“The members of the Mental Health Liaison Group today urge leaders in Congress take bold, decisive action to support SAMHSA and support those who rely on the programs and services funded by the agency [SAMHSA]. As our nation copes with a wave of mental illness and substance use disorders, the question is no longer can we afford to fund behavioral health care programs and services. The question is – can we afford not to?”