Julio Abreu of our Public Policy and Advocacy Department reports on action taken on appropriations bills that affect funding for mental health services and supports.
On July 29th, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up the FY2011 Labor, Health and Human Services & Education appropriations bill, as yet un-numbered. The Senate funding panel would provide a nearly $40 million increase for the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and a $106 million increase for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Senate funding panel would provide the Administration’s request of a $1 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health. The Senate panel did not cut funding for any consumer programs at CMHS.
In particular, the Senate panel would provide: a $5 million increase for Children’s Mental Health (Systems of Care) program; a $5 million increase for State homelessness (PATH) grants; a $6.2 million increase for suicide prevention efforts; a $2 million increase for addressing the needs of children with post-traumatic stress; a $2 million increase for protection and advocacy; and a $4 million increase for Project.
In addition, the Senate panel would provide $10 million for the implementation of the Establishing a Network of Health-Advancing National Centers of Excellence for Depression, or ENHANCED, Act. This funding will support the establishment of a national network of depression centers of excellence to help translate academic treatment advances into clinical care. Mental Health America advocated for the inclusion of the ENHANCED Act in health care reform legislation.
Funding for key programs like the Consumers Technical Assistance Centers and the Statewide Consumer/Family Network Grants were not cut and would remain at their FY2010 levels, as with the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Block Grants.
Lastly, the Senate would direct $40 million of the Prevention and Public Health Fund (mandatory funding included in health reform legislation) to SAMHSA.
The Senate would provide a 3 percent increase for research activities at the National Institutes of Mental Health (to $1540M), Drug Abuse (to $1092M), and Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (to $474M).
Although the House Labor, Health and Human Services & Education Appropriations Subcommittee marked up their FY2011 Labor, Health and Human Services & Education appropriations bill (also un-numbered) on July 15th, there is still little detail available of their work. The House panel would provide an $18 million increase for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the same 3 percent increase for the National Institutes of Health. The House would direct $116 million of the Prevention and Public Health Fund (mandatory funding included in ACA) to SAMHSA.