Legistative Advocacy

APA Statement on House Passage of FY22 Appropriations Bill Providing Needed Increases for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2021 – The American Psychiatric Association applauds today’s House passage of significant funding increases for key mental health and substance use disorder programs included in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bills.

Importantly, the legislation recognizes the severity of the mental health and substance use challenges our nation is facing and invests significant new resources to meet them. The bill boosts funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) by nearly 50% and increases funding for important research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including research on health care disparities and addiction. It also invests in enhancing the mental health and substance use treatment workforce and prioritizes enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act by the U.S. Department of Labor.

APA welcomes all the important investments made in this bill, including:

  • $9.16 billion for SAMHSA, an increase of $3.16 billion including:
    • An $825 million increase to the Mental Health Services Block Grant, including a 10% set-aside for crisis services funding and an additional $100 million devoted for mobile crisis response and an $89.6 million increase for the Suicide Lifeline and 988 implementation.
    • Additional substance use treatment resources of $1.6 billion, including a 33% increase in State Opioid Response Grants.
    • $20.3 million for the Minority Fellowship Program, a 20% increase.
  • An increase of $341 million for the Health Resources Services Administration to support health workforce development, including $28 million for HRSA’s Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Workforce.
  • $37.5 million for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, including a specific focus on improving compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
  • $330 million for the National Institutes of Health research on health disparities, including $250,000 through the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, as well as a 25% overall increase for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a roughly 5% increase for the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
  • $2.9 billion in additional funding for Veterans mental healthcare, including a $286 million boost for suicide prevention outreach.

We thank Chair Rosa DeLauro and the Appropriations Committee for leading the effort to provide these important increases to support mental health, substance use disorder, and other critical programs. We look forward to working with the House and Senate to ensure the highest possible funding levels for NIH, SAMHSA, HRSA and other important agencies supporting mental health services as Congress continues its work on the FY 2022 appropriations process.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,400 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.


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How to Contact Legislature

Maine’s legislature is composed of 186 members (151 members of the House of Representatives and 35 members of the Senate) elected every two years. Members are limited to four consecutive terms in one seat, but they may return after a break and may run for an appropriate seat in the other chamber. Maine also has a system of public campaign financing called the Maine Clean Election Act. Maine’s Governor is limited to two four-year terms. The Maine legislature meets for approximately 6 months (January to June) in the first year and for approximately 4 months (January to April) in the second year of the 2-year cycle.

All of the committees of the Maine Legislature are joint House/Senate committees generally composed of 13 members – 3 Senators with 2 from the majority party and 1 from the minority party and 10 Representatives with 6 from the majority party and 4 from the minority party. The following committees have jurisdiction over some portion of health care policy.

  • Joint Standing Committee on Health & Human Services. This Committee is the committee of oversight for the Department of Health & Human Services. It has jurisdiction over the Medicaid program (known as MaineCare), health care facility licensing (hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgical centers, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, etc.), and behavioral health and long-term care policy.
  • Joint Standing Committee on Insurance & Financial Services. This Committee is the committee of oversight for the Bureau of Insurance. It has jurisdiction over health insurance carriers and agents. It has developed Maine’s system of regulation of managed care organizations (Maine’s Patient Bill of Rights) and addressed mandated health care benefits.
  • Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research & Economic Development. This Committee is the committee of oversight for the Department of Professional & Financial Regulation. In addition to the Bureau of Insurance, this Department contains most of the administrative boards responsible for regulating individual health care practitioners. It also has a budgetary relationship with several “affiliated” health care boards – the Board of Licensure in Medicine (M.D.s), the Board of Osteopathic Licensure (D.O.s), and the Board of Dentistry. It has jurisdiction over the licensure and discipline of individual health care practitioners and handles scope of practice issues.
  • Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary. This committee addresses issues of medical liability, medical ethics, and medical rights. It developed all of Maine’s medical liability reform laws and has handled issues of advance directives and end-of-life care.

Stay Informed

  • Physician’s Guide to Maine Law You will find law affecting aspects of your practice. (compiled by the Maine Medical Association)
  • Maine Legislature’s Home Page You will find a wealth of information about Maine’s legislative process on this web page. You can find your legislators, research the legislative history of any bill and access Maine’s statutes online.
  • Bill Status Search You can determine the current procedural status of any bill in the current legislature at this site.
  • Joint Standing Committees You can find the membership of the joint standing committees of the current legislature at this site.
  • State Agency Rules You can find administrative rules promulgated by executive branch agencies at this site.
  • Physicians’ Day at the Legislature. Physicians’ Day at the Legislature is a bi-annual event promoted by the Maine Medical Association. Questions regarding this event can be addressed to [email protected]
  • Doctor of the Day The Maine Medical Association promotes “Doctor of the Day” at the Maine legislature You can find information about participating by visiting the MMA website. In addition to familiarizing yourself with Maine’s legislative process, your children may enjoy serving as “Honorary Pages” during your visit.
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