The CEO Alliance for Mental Health (CEO Alliance), a group of the leading organizations in the United States dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental health and substance use challenges, applauds President Biden for making mental health care, substance use care and suicide prevention a focal point in his recently released Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget request.
Addressing increasing mental health and substance use needs and staggering overdose and suicide rates have grown in significance as national public health priorities, and the Biden Administration’s proposals, including building out the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and mental health crisis system and closing coverage gaps in Medicare to advance mental health parity, recognize the urgency of addressing the nation’s ongoing mental health and substance use crisis. The CEO Alliance urges Congress and the Administration to continue the bipartisan approach to this crisis and ensure that mental health and substance use are among the highest priorities in FY 2024.
The primary goal for each organization in the CEO Alliance is to improve and save lives. The pandemic intensified the need for mental health and substance use care, especially among youth, and resulted in an even greater behavioral health workforce crisis than society faced before the pandemic. Just last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data showing, in 2021, suicide rates increased to a near-record level, and nearly one in three teen girls seriously considered suicide and more than three in five girls had persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Without a comprehensive system to help address the increased need for care, we fail those who need us the most.
The CEO Alliance recognizes that to improve the outcomes for people with mental health and substance use conditions, and to work toward the ideal state where all people thrive, we must: fundamentally shift perceptions around mental health, substance use, and wellbeing; embrace the concept of population health, which includes prevention, promotion, and recovery; address relevant vital supports such as housing, transportation, education, and employment; transform the systems that impact whole-person health; integrate care; strengthen and support a culturally responsive mental health and substance use workforce; invest in mental health and substance use research; enforce parity in health insurance coverage; and dedicate robust resources to ensure people receive the services and support they need, when and where they need them.
The CEO Alliance for Mental Health is grateful to the Biden Administration for the ongoing focus on building a system of mental health and substance use care across our nation, as demonstrated by the President’s FY 2024 budget request. Continuing the recent bipartisan focus on the mental health and substance use care continuum, as well as on suicide prevention, is critically important to promoting the wellbeing of all. Our members urge Congress to continue to make the needed investments in mental health to support people across the country.
For more information on the CEO Alliance, visit us here.
The members of the CEO Alliance for Mental Health are the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Robert Gebbia, CEO); American Psychiatric Association (Saul Levin, MD, MPA, FRCP-E, CEO & Medical Director); American Psychological Association (Arthur C. Evans, Jr., PhD, CEO & Executive Vice President); Massachusetts Association for Mental Health (Danna Mauch, PhD, President & CEO); Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (Andy Keller, PhD, President & CEO); Mental Health America (Schroeder Stribling, MSW, President & CEO); National Alliance on Mental Illness (Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO); National Association for Behavioral Healthcare (Shawn Coughlin, President & CEO); National Association of Social Workers (Anthony Estreet, PhD, MBA, LCSW-C, CEO); National Council for Mental Wellbeing (Charles Ingoglia, MSW, President & CEO); One Mind (Garen Staglin, Chairman, and Brandon Staglin, President); Peg’s Foundation (Rick Kellar, MBA, President & CEO);The Kennedy Forum (Rebecca O. Bagley, President & CEO); Treatment Advocacy Center (Lisa Dailey, Executive Director); Steinberg Institute (Karen Larsen, CEO); and Tyler Norris, MDiv (Co-Founder, CEO Alliance for Mental Health).