COVID-19 Policy Agenda
To date, Congress has enacted four COVID-19 relief and stimulus laws. Unfortunately, the appropriated funds have not been sufficient to fully support behavioral health providers through the pandemic. Meanwhile, Congress continues its work on another COVID-19 relief package and we continue to advocate on behalf of our request to Congress for $38.5 billion dedicated to addiction and mental health providers.
Urge your Member of Congress to support this emergency appropriation in the next COVID-19 relief package.
Subscribe to Capitol Connector for weekly behavioral health policy news delivered to your inbox, and check here regularly for updates related to COVID-19. You’ll find details relevant to behavioral health providers at Resources for COVID-19.
Even before COVID-19, lack of access to timely, high-quality treatment was the greatest barrier to a healthier America. Furthermore, the impact of institutional racism and social determinants of health undermine the mental health and well-being of all people, especially vulnerable populations.
Together, we are fighting to change that … to build a nation that recognizes the essential truth:
Without mental health, there is no health. Without access to addiction treatment, recovery will be out of reach for many.
~Chuck Ingoglia, National Council President & CEO
National Council Policy Roadmap
The National Council for Behavioral Health is focused on five essential objectives that represent the greatest opportunity to improve the health and well-being of the entire nation.
Hundreds of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) are leading a bold shift to integrate physical and mental health care. This is the model for the future and our goal is to extend it nationwide. Learn more about the CCBHC model and the current status of CCBHC expansion legislation. Read our 2020 CCBHC Impact Report, “Hope for the Future.”
CCBHCs: A New & Better Way to Fund Care
The National Council is fighting to build capacity in our delivery system to ensure that everyone who seeks addiction treatment is able to receive it. We are advocating for a $100 billion investment in federal funds over ten years. View the latest updates on federal addiction policy on our Capitol Connector blog.
The National Council is working to create a loan repayment program for mental health professionals, advocating for expanded access to telemedicine, including access to MAT prescriptions for controlled substances via telemedicine. View the latest behavioral health workforce updates from Capitol Hill.
The National Council is working to enact a requirement that issuers or plans submit comparative analyses upon request from federal oversight agencies as well as the creation of a Consumer Parity Portal. And we support legislation to provide the Department of Labor the authority to investigate and levy monetary penalties against health insurers and plan sponsors that offer health plans to employers that violate the law. Learn more about parity and the national and state efforts to strengthen implementation.
More than 2.5 million individuals have been trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). We are working to enact legislation that would provide $100 million annually for grants to state or local government, nonprofit organizations, faith institutions, institutions of higher education, and small businesses to provide MHFA and other de-escalation trainings. Learn more about the growing push for Mental Health First Aid policy activities and download the Mental Health First Aid Advocacy Resource Guide to bring support for MHFA to your state.
Download the full National Council for Behavioral Health Policy Agenda.
- November 2020 Registered Voters Survey: Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health & Substance Use
- November 2020 polling found a majority of registered voters (57%) said they think the country is on the wrong track when it comes to addressing mental health and addiction recovery amidst COVID-19.
- September 2020 Member Survey: COVID-19 Impact on Behavioral Health Organizations
- June 2020 polling found community behavioral health care organizations nationwide are in imminent danger of collapse due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- February 2020 polling found a bipartisan majority of voters (82%) think it is important for the federal government to increase funding to expand access to mental health and addiction treatment.
- August 2019 polling found 75% of Americans believe the country and the federal government are not doing enough to address mental health