“Implementing 9-8-8 will require sustained investment to expand the capacity of the entire mental health and substance use systems. Dedicated support must be made available every step of the way – from the national lifeline and regional and local call centers to mobile crisis response programs and community-based organizations offering on-the ground treatment. We applaud this effort to bolster our nation’s crisis response infrastructure by expanding CCBHCs to every state so that anyone calling 9-8-8 has someone to talk to, someone to come to them and somewhere to go.” – Chuck Ingoglia, President and CEO, National Council for Mental Wellbeing on the introduction of the 9-8-8 Implementation Act of 2022.
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 Signed into Law President Biden has signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 into law. This legislation includes billions of dollars in support and investments for crucial, life-saving mental health and substance use services. The National Council advocated successfully for a number of these funding priorities, such as additional funding for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Expansion Grants and critically necessary resources for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Also included in the law are expansions to telehealth in Medicare, $6.5 billion in funding for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and $8.9 billion in funding for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
HHS Announces Nearly $35 Million To Strengthen Mental Health Support for Children and Young Adults
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced almost $35 million in funding opportunities for community mental health services and suicide prevention programs that serve children and young adults. HHS will invest in seven grant programs to strengthen treatment, intervention, and recovery supports for children and young adults. For more information on the announcement, click here.
FDA Meeting on Naloxone Access: Answering Questions
On March 28, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a virtual public meeting to discuss and answer questions on naloxone access and gaps in existing opioid prescriber education. Speakers, including providers, harm reduction specialists, pharmacists, and regulators, will share lessons learned on naloxone use and addressing the availability of this medication for overdose. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance. For more information and to register, click here.
House E&C Letter to SAMHSA on Mental Health Concerns
Leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, including the Health and Oversight subcommittees, sent a bipartisan letter to Dr. Delphin-Rittmon, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at SAMHSA, raising concerns on the striking increases in prevalence of mental health and substance use in the United States, particularly due to the pandemic. The members specifically asked for a comparison of data during the pandemic and prior, any contributing factors to mental health symptoms and conditions, an analysis of mental health impacts, and whether the agency has coordinated with other federal agencies responsible for pandemic response. This letter follows numerous hearings on Capitol Hill examining mental health and substance use, including one by the Oversight subcommittee last month.
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HAPPENING ON THE HILL
Shalanda Young confirmed as Director of OMB. Shalanda Young has been confirmed as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the federal agency that administers the federal budget and oversees the performance of federal agencies. In her confirmation hearings, Ms. Young expressed an interest in working with Senator Stabenow and Congress on mental health and substance use disorder issues.
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