Learn more about our 2023 public policy priorities to increase access to high-quality mental health and substance use treatment services.
We fight to advance policies that expand equitable access to high-quality mental health and substance use treatment services.
We work to ensure mental health and substance use treatment organizations can meet the needs of their communities now and in the future. We advocate for federal and state funding, new and innovative care delivery and payment models, and a strong mental health and substance use treatment workforce. By improving access to lifesaving services, we can make mental wellbeing — including recovery from substance use challenges — a reality for everyone.
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Our nation is grappling with multiple mental health and substance use crises. Lack of access to comprehensive lifesaving care, record-high overdose rates, dramatic increases in suicidal ideation and a mental health workforce shortage — all of which made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic — are just some of the daunting challenges. But together, we can turn the tide by pushing for solutions that expand access to care, when and where people need it.
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988 is the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The new dialing code does not replace the current lifeline number — 1-800-273-TALK (8255) — but offers callers a more convenient and easier to remember option. While adopting 988 is a momentous step toward improving access to rapid and lifesaving mental health and substance use care, it will require significant investment and coordination over the coming years to realize and fulfill its potential. Please utilize the below resources to learn about 988.
- 988 Resources from SAMHSA
- 988 Messaging Framework
- Write your Legislator to Support Federal 988 Implementation Legislation
- Track State Legislation on 988 Implementation
- Track 988 Grant Funding to States and Territories from the American Rescue Plan
Achieving the Vision of 988
In the short term, the goal is to strengthen and expand the current Lifeline call center infrastructure and capacity to ensure trained crisis counselors are available to quickly respond to 988 via call, text, or chat. In the longer term, the vision is to build a robust crisis response system across the country that links callers to community-based providers who can deliver a full range of crisis care services, if needed (like mobile crisis teams or stabilization centers). This more robust system will be essential to meeting crisis care needs across the nation.
Developed in partnership with Vibrant Emotional Health, the National Association of Counties, and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, this resource contains information on what 988 is, what happens when you utilize it, a guide to 988 as compared to 911, and information on what it will take to ensure 988 can reach its full potential.
Through their standardized crisis response capabilities, their broad range of required crisis care, and their role in serving all individuals regardless of location or ability to pay, CCBHCs are uniquely positioned to serve as a cornerstone in our nation’s new crisis response system, decreasing the burden on 911 operators, law enforcement officials, and emergency departments.
A new report from the Committee on Psychiatry and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, released by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, outlines the steps we must take now to ensure people in crisis receive the high-quality behavioral health services they need.