WASHINGTON, DC – The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month, making it an important time to share critical resources for individuals and families who might be in need of help.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a national helpline that is operational all day, every day. Individuals in need of help can call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for a free and confidential conversation, including referrals for treatment and other information. More information and additional resources can be found here.
A government funding package that passed the House on March 22, and was signed into law the following day, funded critical mental health programs included in the landmark 21st Century Cures Act. The policies included in the package represent the most significant reforms to our nation’s mental health system in more than one decade.
From improving mental health care for children with serious emotional disturbances, to strengthening community crisis response systems, to developing school-based mental health crisis intervention teams including specialized training for school officials, to active shooter training programs for law enforcement, the 21st Century Cures Act and recent omnibus, made significant strides in this area and many of these programs are just now coming online.
The funding package appropriated more than $2.3 billion in new funding for mental health programs. Nearly 30 sections of the mental health provisions within the 21st Century Cures Act received funding, including the mental health block grant, which received a $150 million increase. Other key initiatives that were funded include: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, Mental and Behavioral Health Training Grants, Assisted Outpatient Treatment, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
As Congress continues to work to implement the 21st Century Cures Act, this month presents an important opportunity to highlight both the tremendous reforms Congress has instituted, and the ways individuals facing mental and/or substance use disorders can find the help and support they need.