Tell Congress to Act to Avoid Sequestration: Protect Mental Health Programs from Automatic Cuts

On January 2, 2013, vital programs that benefit all Americans, including mental health and social service programs, will face devastating, across-the-board cuts of between 8 and 11 percent through an arcane budget tool known as "sequestration"—unless Congress acts to prevent them.

The cuts are required under The Budget Control Act of 2011, which had directed a “Super Committee” to find $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years in both defense and non-defense discretionary spending. Because the committee failed to reach a deal, the automatic cuts are scheduled to be triggered at the beginning of the year.

These mandatory cuts will have a devastating impact on mental health and substance use programs and services and related public health programs that are supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and other key agencies. A Mental Health America report on the sequestration details how these indiscriminate cuts would harm individuals living with mental health and substance use conditions.

These programs and services represent a small and shrinking share of the federal budget and our overall economy. They are not drivers of the debt. But to date, they have borne the brunt of deficit reduction efforts. And further cuts will harm hundreds of thousands of children and families who rely on these programs and services for help and support—unless Congress works together to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction that protects public health programs.

Urge Your Members of Congress to Act to Avoid Sequestration—Contact Them Today By:

1.  Calling their offices (use this zip code locator to find the names and number of your legislators).

2. Completing the Email Your Legislator form with your information (below).

o Review the message on the right.

    o Complete the form below with your information.
    o Click the Send Message button to send your letter to these decision makers:
    • Your Senators
    • Your Representative

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Send This Message

Act to Avoid Sequestration

Dear [Decision Maker],

As you know, on January 2, 2013, sequestration will go into effect unless legislative action is taken. As a result, domestic programs will be cut between 8 and 11 percent in FY 2013.


I urge you to do everything you can to avoid sequestration and work with fellow legislators to come together to forge a bipartisan, balanced and effective approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges that protect public health programs.


[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]

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500 Montgomery Street Suite 820,
Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 884.7722

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