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Statement of Mental Health America on Administration's FY 2014 Budget

Statement of Mental Health America on Administration’s FY 2014 Budget

Contact: Steve Vetzner, (703) 797-2588 or svetzner@mentalhealthamerica.net

Mental Health America today released the following statement of Wayne W. Lindstrom, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 12, 2013)—Mental Health America commends the Administration for making mental health a priority through a $235 million investment in new programs to help identify mental health concerns early, improve access to mental health services and support safer school environments.

This new funding demonstrates the President’s commitment to improve and expand access to mental health services and builds on the initiatives he proposed in January.

We will work to complement these investments by ensuring that funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Institutes of Health sustain essential supports, services and research. Mental health has deservedly received greater attention over the past months, and that new focus needs to be supported by necessary funding increases and investments.

The plan also takes the important step of protecting Medicaid, the largest source of funding for mental health services. Maintaining Medicaid funding is essential to expanding coverage and improving access to mental health services under the Affordable Care Act.

The plan takes the right approach by eliminating sequestration and returning discretionary spending to pre-Budget Control Act levels. Under sequestration, required cuts will result in 373,000 adults and children with serious mental illness losing access to treatment and hundreds of thousands of children and adults being at risk of losing access to any type of public mental health support. It is essential we reverse these cuts and provide these vital services to children and families.

At the same time, we are discouraged by proposed changes to the Medicare program and the proposal to change how cost of living adjustments for Social Security are calculated. They put too many elderly and disabled Americans at risk of losing critical and needed services and supports.

Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net), founded in 1909, is the nation’s leading community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our 240 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.

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2000 N. Beauregard Street,
6th Floor Alexandria, VA 22311

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968

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