Reports from Capitol Hill indicate that the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee will begin consideration of the 2013 HHS budget with a markup on June 12. The bill will move on to consideration by the full Appropriations Committee on June 14.
Many issues are at stake for children's mental health in the 2013 budget. President Obama’s budget requests included cuts to a variety of programs funded under SAMHSA, and the House leadership has indicated it wants to see steep cuts in all areas of the budget. A significant area of concern is the proposed 29 million dollar reduction in funding for the Child Mental Health Initiative (CMHI) in 2013. Traditionally, CMHI has been the vehicle through which SAMHSA provides funds for children's mental health services. Without these funds from the federal government, states and communities will no longer have the means to provide children's mental health services that are informed by the system of care values and principles.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee and Committee hearings are the best place for children's mental health advocates to make ourselves heard and voice our concerns about our funding priorities for 2013. Time is of the essence. Lawmakers need to be prepared to go into the markups prepared to offer amendments to protect SAMHSA funding.
As Congress puts together the 2013 budget, the Children's Mental Health Network urges legislators to:
- Preserve funding for the SAMHSA Child Mental Health Initiative at its 2012 levels
As of May 2012, there are 313,544,041 people in the United States and 27.3% of them are under 20 years old. If one in 5 has a mental health need (diagnosed or not) that's 17,119,500 children and youth. There are more children and youth who face mental health challenges than those with heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. The Child Mental Health Initiative has been a flagship program for SAMHSA and has provided much needed information about effective practices, technical assistance and support, and guidance direction to states and communities about how to most effectively meet the needs of children with mental health challenges and their families. Yet, the Initiative is facing severe cuts that will cripple SAMHSA’s ability to continue its leadership role helping states and communities to make a positive impact on how mental health services and supports are designed and delivered to children, youth, and families. Please do your part to halt the erosion of SAMHSA’s Child Mental Health Initiative.
Please check the list below to learn if your Senator is on the Appropriations Committee, then click the Take Action button to write to them today about the importance of fully funding SAMHSA, with particular emphasis on keeping the Child Mental Health Initiative funded at the 2012 level!
Senate Appropriations Committee/HHS Subcommittee Members:
- Richard Shelby (R-AL), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Mark Pryor (D-AR), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
- Daniel Inouye (D-HI), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Richard Durbin (D-IL), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Mark Kirk (R-IL), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Dan Coats (R-IN)
- Tom Harkin (D-IA), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Jerry Moran (R-KS), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
- Mary Landrieu (D-LA), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Thad Cochran (R-MS), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Roy Blunt (R-MO)
- Jon Tester (D-MT)
- Ben Nelson (D-NE)
- Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
- John Hoeven (R-ND)
- Sherrod Brown (D-OH), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Jack Reed (D-RI), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Lindsey Graham (R-SC), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Tim Johnson (D-SD)
- Lamar Alexander (R-TN), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
- Patty Murray (D-WA), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Ron Johnson (R-WI), HHS Subcommittee Member
- Herb Kohl (D-WI), HHS Subcommittee Member