Two national mental health coalitions to which APA belongs expressed
disappointment and concern last month over President George W. Bush's proposed
budget cuts to federally funded mental health services in Fiscal 2006 (see
The Campaign for Mental Health Reform, a coalition representing millions of
people with mental or emotional disorders and their families and numerous
professional and advocacy organizations, condemned Bush's proposed budget in a
press release last month.
The coalition criticized the president's budget for "undermining the
already overburdened services that are crucial to people with mental
illnesses," said campaign coordinator William Emmet in the press
release. The president's budget proposes "tens of billions of dollars in
cuts to Medicaid, the largest provider of funding for public mental health
services, and slashes discretionary spending on mental health," he
Earlier this month the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG), which represents
more than 50 national professional, research, and patient advocacy groups,
called for increases in the federal budget for mental health services and
The MHLG's recommendations are detailed in its 2006 advocacy pamphlet. The
coalition uses the pamphlet to educate members of Congress about the programs
that play a significant role in the lives of people with mental or emotional
For Fiscal 2006 Bush proposed a 7 percent ($64 million) cut from the Fiscal
2005 level for the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS; see chart at
right). That decease included about $30 million cut in CMHS jail-diversion and
youth-violence prevention programs. The remaining $34 million would come from
grant programs that are no longer operating, according to Lizbet Boroughs, an
associate director in APA's Department of Government Relations.
In contrast, the MHLG is recommending a 9 percent ($81 million) increase in
the CMHS budget for Fiscal 2006, which would be distributed across all of the
The coalition is also calling for an 8 percent increase for Programs of
Regional and National Significance (PRNS) at the Center for Substance Abuse
Prevention (CSAP), and an 8 percent increase for block-grant and PRNS funding
at the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
In response to the president's minuscule proposed increases for the
National Institute of Mental Health (.41 percent), National Institute on Drug
Abuse (.33 percent), and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
(.34 percent), the MHLG is recommending a 6 percent budget increase for each
agency (see table).
The Mental Health Liaison Group's appropriations recommendations for
FY 2006 are posted online at<www.mhlg.org>.
The Campaign for Mental Health Reform's Web site is<www.mhreform.org>.▪