Skip to main content


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (January 17, 2014)—A 2014 Fiscal Year spending bill crafted by Congressional appropriators provides important increases for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

“Given the sustained national dialogue on mental health issues, it is encouraging that the bill includes a significant 13 percent increase in funding for mental health services and supports,” said David Shern, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America.

The bill, which funds the government through the end of September, includes all 12 of the individual annual spending bills packaged into one $1.012 trillion "omnibus" spending bill. It includes all government discretionary spending outside of what it is mandated for entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

The House overwhelming approved the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 359-67, and the Senate passed the bill on Thursday by a vote of 72-26, sending it to President Obama for his signature.

The bill provides relief from across the board spending cuts that were implemented under sequestration and details funding levels for government programs under a budget agreement reached in December by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

The budget plan increases spending to $1.012 trillion in 2014 and $1.014 in 2015—up from the $967 billion required by the across-the-board sequester cuts. It provides for about $63 billion in sequester relief, divided equally among defense and non-defense programs.

Mental Health America worked with its coalition partners, primarily through the Coalition for Health Funding and NDD United, to influence the budget negotiations. 

“Mental Health America is encouraged by the increase in funding to programs that improve the well-being of all Americans, especially those with mental health and substance use conditions,” Dr. Shern said.

The spending package includes $1.1 billion for mental health programs, which is $136 million more than the 2013 enacted level.  NIMH will receive $1.45 billion, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will receive $1.03 billion and SAMHSA will receive $3.63 billion. In addition, the spending plan provides the first meaningful increase in funding for the Center for Mental Health Services.

The bill provides $1 billion for the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Of that amount, $831 million is available to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and $62 million to SAMHSA, with $35 million directed elsewhere at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Programmatic Funding Level Highlights—CMHS

  • $40M for Project AWARE state grants (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education, Now is the Time)
  • $15M for Mental Health First Aid (Now is the Time)
  • $20M for Healthy Transitions (Now is the Time)
  • $50M for PBHCI – Primary and Behavioral Health Integration
  • $49M for Suicide Prevention Activities
  • $46M for National Child Traumatic Stress
  • $35M for Project LAUNCH
  • $2M for National Strategy for Suicide Prevention from Prevention Fund
  • $5M for Tribal Behavioral Health Grants
  • $8.1M for Minority Fellowship Program (CMHS only)
  • $35M for Behavioral Health Workforce
  • $2.0M for the Consumer & Consumer Support T.A. Centers
  • $5.0M for the Consumer and Family Network Grants

Sequestration Impact

Although the spending plan provides relief from sequestration in FY2014, last year’s sequestration and other persistent funding cuts have directly impacted programs and services (in many cases to Bush era funding levels). To help set spending priorities and argue for increases for the next fiscal year, Mental Health America is requesting information on the impact of sequestration – such as the capacity to serve clients and fill positions – in your community or state.

Please send examples and stories to by February 17.

Mental Health America (, 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.