APA Applauds Mental Health Funding in Federal Spending Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week Congress passed a $1.4 trillion fiscal year 2020 spending bill that includes several provisions that will fund medical research and treatment programs for people with mental illness and substance use disorders (SUD).
Among these provisions were:
- Significant resources to combat the opioid epidemic, including $1.5 billion for state opioid response grants and $800 million for research. The bill also includes $12 million in new funding for a student-loan repayment program for the SUD workforce and $26.7 million in new funding to establish grants to train professionals to provide treatment for mental illness and SUD, both administered through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
- $5.9 billion for SAMHSA, including $14 million for the Minority Fellowship Program which is a $1 million increase over last year’s funding.
- $41.68 billion for the National Institutes of Health, a 6.7 percent increase in funding. Of that, $2 billion will fund the National Institute of Mental Health, an increase of $155 million. The NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both received $12.5 million to take a comprehensive approach to studying the underlying causes and evidence-based methods of prevention of firearm injury.
- Funding to extend key expiring health care programs through to May 22, 2020, including the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program that provides a range of mental health and substance use disorder services in vulnerable communities.
“This budget includes many investments in programs that will hopefully help relieve the millions of Americans who suffer as a result of the opioid crisis,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “APA is also pleased to see funding for research into preventing firearm injury and deaths, a provision we’ve supported alongside other medical professionals for many years.”
“We are pleased that Congress has also funded the APA-supported loan repayment program that will encourage psychiatrists and others to serve communities in need, especially those with high opioid use that also have a shortage of clinicians,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “This is an important piece of addressing physician shortages across the country.”
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,500 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.