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Tell Congress to Support Mental Health Funding in the COVID-19 Relief Bill. This week, the House of Representatives is planning to vote on a large budget reconciliation bill to provide additional relief for individuals, families, businesses, and state government agencies. The $1.9 trillion bill would provide substantial funding for promotion of mental health and substance use services and supports. Right now, we need you to speak up and tell your member of Congress how important it is to pass the American Rescue Plan Act for the nation’s mental health.

Tell the Senate to Pass Changes That Increase Funding and Access to Mental Health Services in the next COVID-19 Package. Additional funding for mental health and substance use services will help states and local governments provide services as many states face budget shortfalls and plan to instead cut funding from mental health accounts. Expanded coverage of telemental health services has allowed people with mental health conditions to stay in treatment or get into treatment at a time when it is unsafe to meet in person. To help keep safety net Medicaid providers afloat, many of which have seen drastic increases in demand for services, an increase in federal matching funds (FMAP) for Medicaid is needed. And, activation of Medicaid for individuals coming out of justice system settings helps many overcome the major hurdle of paying for treatment as they manage reintegrating into the community. The first 60 days back into the community is the highest risk period for many justice involved individuals and often times having access to health care is the difference between life and death. 

Weigh in on the PEERS Act of 2020 with your Members of Congress! Peer support specialists provide emotional, informational, and other transformative support to people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders based on their personal lived experience and knowledge of behavioral health systems and supports. Fully integrated health care is designed to meet the behavioral and physical needs of an individual and is proven effective in reducing symptoms of mental health condition(s) and helping people get into and stay engaged in recovery.  Adding peers to the care teams will help promote recovery and improve equity by reducing health disparities and increasing the ability of care teams to reflect the communities they are serving.