Press Releases

New NAMI-Ipsos Poll Finds a Majority of Americans Want Congress to Address the Mental Health Crisis

Nov 29 2023

NAMI Leaders on Capitol Hill this Week Tout Strong Constituent Support for Advancing Key Mental Health Priorities with Necessary Funding

Arlington, VA —Today, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) released a new poll, conducted by Ipsos, that finds a bipartisan majority of Americans (86%) agree their elected officials need to do more to improve mental health care in the U.S., with only 7% that believe Congress is currently doing the right amount on this issue. The findings show strong public interest in Congress taking decisive action to improve the nation’s ongoing mental health crisis.  

This new poll coincides with more than 85 NAMI leaders from across the country advocating on Capitol Hill to highlight key priorities to address the urgency of this crisis. NAMI leaders are asking Congress to fund mental health crisis response, including the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, mental health resources in schools, and community-based services.

“Time and time again, the data show that Americans want their policymakers to improve access to mental health care in this country. And what we hear from people with mental illness and their family members every day back up that sentiment,” said NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. “With this new data combined with the real-life experiences of NAMI advocates, we hope Congress will act quickly in advancing bipartisan, common-sense solutions that address the current crisis and improve our nation’s mental health.”

While Congressional leaders continue negotiating the final Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 spending bills, people clearly want Congress to prioritize mental health:

  • Nearly two-thirds of adults (64%) agree federal funding for mental health care should be a high or the highest priority for Congress.
  • More than half of Americans (57%) believe that federal funding for the new, nationwide 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline should be a high or the highest priority for Congress.
  • People overwhelmingly support Congress funding mental health research to identify risks for suicide and improve suicide prevention (87%), discover innovative treatments (86%), improve school-based mental health services (86%), and understand the connection between mental health and the brain (85%).

Too many people are struggling to access mental health care in their community. Only one in five adults said it was easy to find a mental health provider who is affordable or in-network with their insurance (21%), has a similar background as them (20%), has specialized training focused on children or young people (20%) or is accepting new patients (18%). NAMI advocates are urging Congress to increase investments in programs like the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and to pass the Mental Health Services for Students Act to increase access to care and resources.   

When people don’t get timely access to mental health services, too many people experience a mental health crisis. The number of Americans contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline grew more than 40% in the first year. NAMI’s poll found that only 22% of Americans are familiar with the Lifeline and 29% say they have never heard of it. NAMI urges Congress to pass the 988 Implementation Act to build up the crisis services and capacity to help people in crisis.

“As more people learn about this life-saving resource, increased funding will be critical to ensure it’s available to help people when they need it most,” said Gillison. “There is no health without mental health, and NAMI looks forward to working with our nation’s leaders to implementing solutions that meet people where they are and give them the help they need and deserve.”

Available information: NAMI/Ipsos polling topline results and methodology, research results slide deck.

 

This NAMI/Ipsos poll was conducted October 27-29, 2023, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 2,048 general population adults age 18 or older. The survey has a margin of error of ± 2.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence interval for all respondents. Learn more about the methodology here.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness

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