NAMI Calls for Increased Mental Health Funding in House Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today testified in front of the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee during its Fiscal Year 2023 Public Witness Day, urging Congress to continue its bipartisan support for mental health funding. NAMI Chief Advocacy Officer Hannah Wesolowski, the only invited representative from a mental health organization, highlighted the need for increased funding to address our youth mental health crisis and reimagine our mental health crisis response.
“The mental health challenges we face as a country are vast — and will continue to grow as we recover from the pandemic and grapple with the effects of the last few years,” Wesolowski told the subcommittee. “If we do not invest in mental health now, we will pay the price for decades to come. Bluntly, our nation is at a breaking point when it comes to mental health,” she said.
Wesolowski highlighted several key appropriations requests by NAMI:
- Increased funding to help our communities reimagine the response to people in crisis, including funding for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, local call centers and mobile crisis teams.
- $1 billion for the School-Based Mental Health Services Grant Program to vastly increase the number of mental health professionals available to support children and guide them and their families in accessing community-based mental health services.
- Near doubling of the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant to help states fill needed gaps to address growing demand.
“It is imperative that we address this crisis and make mental health among our nation’s highest priorities — turning a breaking point into a defining moment,” Wesolowski concluded.
NAMI’s full written testimony submitted to the subcommittee can be found here.