ON CAPITOL HILL: CHANGE IS ON THE WAY
Earlier this month in Washington D.C., the National Council on MentalHealth hosted the annual Hill Day. This two-day event brings togetherbehavioral health care providers from all sectors of the field to attend workshops on federal health care policy, and to advocate for behavioral health care funding to Congress on Capitol Hill. Partners of this event include fourteen national advocacy organizations, such as NAMI and Mental Health America.
The overarching goal is to increase mental health resources and treatment practices in communities across the country. By attaining more funding, mental health programs can continue to work toward decreasing hospitalizations and treatment costs, while increasing scientific and clinical research for addiction and mental health interventions.
In previous years, Hill Day has had great success. Last year, Hill Day advocates helped increase 2016 budget funding for multiple programs, specifically the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, with a $38 million increase. This grant aims to plan, implement and evaluate activities that prevent and treat substance abuse. These advancements are what will ultimately lead to widespread positive change in the field.
Linda Rosenberg, the National Council president and CEO, stresses the importance of Hill Day, and its role in the improvement of mental health treatments and services. She says, “We urge Congress to alleviate the suffering of our families, our friends and our neighbors by tackling the heroin and opioid crisis and addressing the desperate need for additional community mental health and addiction treatment capacity.”