Dozens of national organizations pressure Congress to invest in mental health, addiction treatment

Dozens of national organizations pressure Congress to invest in mental health, addiction treatment

Faced with a looming May 22 expiration of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program, 60 national organizations have collectively urged Congressional action and expand treatment for mental health and addiction.

Banded together under the National Council for Behavioral Health under a Unite for Behavioral Health campaign, the 60 organizations — such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American Psychological Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health America — signed onto a letter dispatched to Congress last week that explicitly called for an extension and expansion of the CCBHC before it expires. Opioid addiction services and other lifesaving treatments are left at risk if the funding it provides expires, the organizations warn.

“Today, 113 CCBHCs in 21 states are providing access to integrated, high quality mental health and substance use treatment and 24/7 crisis care while collaborating with law enforcement, hospitals and schools to make a difference in their communities,” Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, said. “Bipartisan congressional leadership has made this important progress possible and will continue to be essential if we are to achieve the long-term goal of extending CCBHCs nationwide.”

In a recent national sampling of 1,990 registered voters — with a margin of error of +/- 2 percent — Morning Consult found that mental health support is also a bipartisan issue. Only 20 percent of voters said access to mental health and addiction treatment has improved in their community in the last four years, despite a national overdose and suicide crisis and the fact that 82 percent of voters noted the importance of federal funding increases to treatment spending and expansion of access.

Nearly three in four voters said they would support Congress members that pledged to expand mobile crisis mental health services. Further, 84 percent of Republican voters and 86 percent of Democratic voters showed greater likelihood to support Congress members who promised to work to ensure veterans and active duty military, in particular, gained mental health and addiction treatment care.

“Members of Congress should take note: both Republican and Democratic voters are clear and strong in their support of increased federal investment,” Ingoglia said.