APA Praises Congress for Passing Omnibus Funding Bill That Addresses Mental Health and Substance Use Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The American Psychiatric Association (APA) today praised Congress for passing the $1.3 trillion omnibus package that boosts funding for combating the opioids epidemic and for other pressing mental health and substance use issues facing the nation. The package, signed into law today, includes:

  • Mental Health: $1.5 billion, $306 million above FY2017, for mental health programs at SAMHSA. Within this total, the bill provides $723 million for the Mental Health Block Grant, $100 million for new grants to Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers that meet the standards set forth in the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act, and $25 million for mental health programs to address school safety.
  • National Institutes of Health: $37.1 billion, an increase of $3 billion, above FY2017, including $500 million for a new initiative to research opioid addiction, development of opioids alternatives, pain management, and addiction treatment.
  • Opioids: $3.6 billion, an increase of $2.55 billion. Funds are targeted toward improving treatment and prevention efforts; finding alternative pain medications; workforce needs; and behavioral health.

While the omnibus provides funding for a host of pressing mental health needs, it did not include funding to stabilize the markets in the Affordable Care Act, which the APA supports.

“While the funding package is not perfect, it provides a significant and meaningful boost to mental health and substance use treatment and research in this country,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “We would like to thank members of both parties that worked hard to pass this critical legislation. Our members continue to pledge to work with our partners in Congress and the federal government to ensure that these funded efforts are implemented.”

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 37,800 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.

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