Contact Your Members of Congress During the August Recess: Urge Them to Support Key Mental Health Legislation
Congress is scheduled to
begin its traditional August recess on Friday, August 2. Mental Health America urges you to schedule
visits with your Members of Congress and/or contact them to support the Senate FY2014 Labor, Health and Human
Services and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1284) and the Mental Health
Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 689), among other legislative
our Capitol Hill Day in June, we have gained more than 60 new cosponsors for our legislative priorities . We urge you to build on that momentum and
contact your Members of Congress to champion the following:
FY2014 Appropriations Bill (S. 1284)
The Senate Appropriations
Committee passed the FY2104 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education
Appropriations Bill (S.1284) in July and now heads to the Senate floor. S.1284 reflects the Senate’s ongoing commitment to investing in the vast
array of federal agencies that comprise HHS, including the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institutes of
Health (NIH), as well as supporting efforts to implement the Affordable Care
Act. The funding bill includes a roughly
$107 million increase for the Center for Mental Health Services at SAMHSA.
The bill would provide $95 million for the Administration’s
“Now Is the Time” proposal—roughly $55 million for “upstream services” and $40
million for behavioral health workforce—and a $12 million increase for suicide
prevention, and would fund NIH, including the National Institutes of Mental
Health, Drug Abuse, and Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, at FY2012 levels (which
does not include the FY13 sequester).
In addition, S. 1284 would protect critical consumer and
children services programs at SAMHSA, while also providing increases for the
Mental Health Block Grant and integration and trauma initiatives. Urge your Members of Congress to support
the mental health funding levels of S.1284 in any future funding package or
The Mental Health
Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 689)
Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 689), drafted by Sens.
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), makes targeted improvements designed to advance
federal efforts to assist states and local communities in addressing mental
health needs (“upstream services”). The bill passed by a vote of 95-2 in April as
an amendment to a legislative vehicle that has since been pulled from the
would reauthorize various education and health programs related to mental
health. The education section focuses on
promoting school-wide prevention through the development of positive behavioral
supports and encouraging school-based mental health partnerships. The public health section focuses on suicide
prevention, helping children recover from traumatic events, mental health
awareness for teachers and other individuals, and assessing barriers to
integrating behavioral health and primary care. Urge your Members of
Congress to cosponsor S. 689, critical, bi-partisan legislation that combined
many bills (e.g., the Mental Health in Schools Act) that we have prioritized
over the years, and to have Senate Leaders move the legislation for consideration in the House of Representatives.
Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Vital Mental Health Legislation. Contact Them Today By:
Complete the form below with your information.
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Your Senators Your Representative
I urge you to support the mental health funding levels in the Senate FY2014 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1284) and to cosponsor and enact the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 689).
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I urge you to support the funding levels in the Senate FY2014 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill (S.1284) in any future spending package or Continuing Resolution and to urge the Senate to have the House consider the Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 689). These important bills will help address the mental health and addiction needs in our state and communities.
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