Your help is urgently needed to respond to the Mental Health and Addiction Crisis contributed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Will you take two minutes today to urge your Member of Congress to NOT leave mental health and addictions behind? If possible included examples of what you are facing, closing programs, layoffs, impact of social distancing on services etc…
The COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming our communities and our nation’s health care system, including for mental health and addiction.
Congress must take immediate action to prevent the behavioral health system from collapsing and to mitigate a greater public health and economic crisis from untreated mental illness and addiction. In the 4th stimulus package, the following emergency appropriations and policy changes are urgently needed.
EMERGENCY FUNDING TO SAVE EXISTING TREATMENT
INFRASTRUCTURE $38.5 BILLION
The National Council for Behavioral Health survey of its members estimates the Community Behavioral Health Organizations revenue could fall 50% over the next year –or approximately $38.5 billion.
Urgent assistance is needed to maintain staff and to keep their doors open.
Funds could be used for expenses / lost revenue attributable to COVID-19. EMERGENCY FUNDING TO EXPAND SERVICES FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE $10 BILLION
9-8-8 National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Hotline $300 million – Fund necessary upgrades to legacy switches to make 9-8-8 fully operational and pass H.R. 4194 / S. 2661 to formally designate 9-8-8 as hotline number.
$80 million – Fund 9-8-8 operations to ensure capacity to handle call volume ($50 million) and crisis chat capacity ($30 million).
Maintain and Enhance Local Crisis Response • $5.6 billion to SAMHSA Emergency Fund to: o Provide crisis/grief counseling and other mental health needs for health care workers, first responders, grocery store workers, and others front-line workers affected by the virus. During other disasters, we deployed mental health resources to help those who were impacted on an emergency basis.
Expand evidence-based crisis response services, including those provided by crisis providers, hotlines, mobile crisis, sub-acute crisis stabilization units and community crisis urgent care facilities. o Expand local suicide prevention programs.
Provide emergency grants to organizations to expand mental health and addiction virtual peer supports. Aid nonprofit organizations that primarily serving people with behavioral health needs and receive state/county funding that are at risk of cutting back / ending services.
Provide behavioral health screenings, particularly for the uninsured, and utilize a universal de-identified database of population behavioral health needs based on screening results.
Other emergency behavioral health needs as determined by the Secretary.
$1.5 billion to HUD for homeless diversion including residential services for homeless who are increased risk from COVID-19.
$1.2 billion to DOJ for jail diversion programs to lessen crowding in corrections facilities and the strain on state and local budgets.
$500 million to NIMH for brain research, including relating to emerging needs in brain research relating to COVID-19.
CLICK HERE to view and download this post in .pdf format.