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Wednesday, March 16, 2022
All Day

2022 Virtual Hill Day

Virtual Hill Day 2022
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

9:00 AM ET - 6:00 PM ET

Download the slides

Virtual Hill Day Kickoff on Monday, March 14 at 3:00 pm ET precedes all scheduled meetings on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.



Virtual Hill Day Kickoff

On Monday, March 14, 2022, at 3:00 pm ET MHA is holding an Advocacy Training Webinar to prep affiliates for their meetings with legislative offices on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Advocates are urging Congress to make increased investments in community mental health services and advance legislative changes that make it easier to support adolescent mental health.


The advocacy training begins with an overview of trends in MHA’s screening data as well as national CDC and NIH mental health-focused data. We will then have remarks from a congressional office, followed by an overview of the importance of appropriations requests, and an explanation of our three “asks.” The webinar will conclude with an explanation of the Soapbox advocacy mobile tool and breakouts of each state team where individuals will come up with a plan to successfully conduct each meeting. The program will take the full hour and any questions that arise may be answered at the one-hour mark at 4:00 pm ET. Staff are able to stay on for 30 minutes of questions and coaching after the program concludes.


Training Kickoff Agenda – 3:00 - 4:30 pm ET

  • Welcome and objectives- Caren Howard, MHA (5 minutes)
  • Special remarks - TBD Speaker (5 minutes)
  • Appropriations process explained - Erik Fatemi, Cornerstone (15 minutes)
  • Presentation of three asks - Mary Giliberti and Caren Howard, MHA (10 minutes)
  • Meeting preparation - Christopher Kush, Soapbox (25 minutes)
  • Question and answer session (30 minutes)
  • Conclusion


Please familiarize yourself with our three asks prior to the training:

Click the headings below to view and download the FY23 Ask Factsheets. Please note that our factsheets have been updated to reflect the President's FY23 Budget Requests.

1. Increase the Community Mental Health Block Grant program at SAMHSA to $1.7 billion to meet increased mental health needs now and beyond COVID19.

  • MHA, NIH, and CDC data all show increased mental health needs in families and throughout the community over the last two years. The Mental Health block grant is typically used to fund mental health treatment and supports for people who are uninsured or unable to afford services and also to cover services that are not covered by insurance, such as crisis management, intensive in-home services, early psychosis care, and systems transformational services such as consumer access to supported education and employment. A drastic increase in this flexible funding source will help states meet the moment with increased resource levels that have historically been underfunded.


2. Set aside 10% of the SAMHSA Community Mental Health Block Grant for prevention only activities.

  • Research has shown prevention activities that build awareness, connection, and resiliency, and reduce trauma and adverse childhood experiences can reduce the existence and severity of mental health conditions, mental health crises, and suicidality. Currently, services provided through block grant funding are only able to serve people with SED/SMI diagnoses and we want that limitation removed for 10% of funding, compared to the 20% prevention set-aside in the  Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention Block Grant, so that funding may be used for people without SED/SMI. View our letter of support for the MHBG Prevention set-aside here.


3. Establish a coordinating center at CDC and fund it with $25 million to drive a public health strategy for addressing adolescent mental health needs.

  • For most health crises facing the nation, the federal government takes a public health approach in addition to providing services to individuals. However, CDC has not been fully empowered to address the youth mental health crisis which continues to grow worse with rising suicidality, anxiety, and depression. CDC runs several programs that touch on this issue, most are small and scattered across various national centers within the agency. But, creating a centralized location for surveillance and strategy of the whole adolescent will inform a responsible path forward and ensure resources and services across all agencies are appropriately targeted to the well-being of youth so they may live full lives through adulthood.


Register to Participate in Hill Day Here


Advocacy Tips

View our guide for How to Conduct a Successful Legislative Meeting.


Social Media

Contact your members of Congress. Use these sample graphics to share your ask. Click each graphic to save.



MHA’s screening, CDC, and NIH data all show increased mental health needs and increased suicidality two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress has held tens of hearings and roundtables to discuss mental health and suicide risk, however in the most recent FY22 appropriations package, only gave limited increases to funding accounts for mental health. This leaves states and communities strapped, and many people continue to suffer. The increase in prevalence and severity of suicidality, anxiety and depression in youth and adults should be met with increased funding for community-based services that not only support individuals with diagnoses but support the millions of youth and young adults who may not have a history of mental illness or suicidality. As multiple crisis on top of COVID-19 continue to challenge the nation, Congress must make additional investments in behavioral health to improve access to services and help those with untreated mental health conditions get into treatment.


MHA’s Advocacy and Policy team is hosting Hill Day as part of a nationwide movement toward a robust mental health system that promotes prevention and early intervention initiatives, access to integrated community-based treatments, and supports that are recovery-focused and that encompass community inclusion.


MHA – founded in 1909 – is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Our work is driven by our commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them, with recovery as the goal. Much of our current work is guided by the Before Stage 4 (B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach a chronic stage.