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Global Alliance’s National Advocacy Action in 2022

September 20, 2022

The Global Alliance’s action-oriented focus is critical to championing mental health and well-being as we address systemic issues affecting individuals, families, and communities. While many of the advocacy efforts described below intersect across policy foci, they have mostly sought equitable outcomes within the areas of behavioral health, and children and families. We collaborate with external organizations and coalitions to work on issues related to equity and access to healthcare. Many of the advocacy efforts by the Global Alliance are undertaken as part of the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG), a coalition of national organizations that cooperate in advocacy efforts.

Behavioral Health Across the Lifespan

Within this area of focus, national advocacy efforts of 2022 include: 

Statements 

  • Mental Health Organizations’ Statement on National Gun Violence about false and harmful attempts to link mental illness and gun violence

Letters Supporting Acts  

  • Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 [to date, passed within the House]
    • Expressed appreciation to legislators for advancing Act out of House of Reps
    • Urged Committee to advance legislation out of the Senate
  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) [to date, passed within the House]
    • Urged funding to improve implementation of ERPO laws as a safety means to prevent suicides
  • Improving Seniors Access to Timely Care Act [to date, introduced in the House]
    • Endorsed streamlining and standardizing prior authorization in the Medicare Advantage program
  • 988 Implementation Act [to date, introduced in the House]
    • Expressed support for the 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Implementation Act
    • Urged Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to focus on the needs of children and adolescents in the implementation of 988 and to quickly release guidance on youth crisis systems
  • Mainstreaming Addiction Act (MAT) [to date, introduced in the Senate] 
    • Urged inclusion of MAT in the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act 
    • Urged legislators to attach MAT to the continuing resolution to be passed by the Senate in September
  • Improving Access to Behavioral Health Integration Act [to date, introduced in the Senate]
    • Supported grant program for primary care practices to implement evidence-based behavioral health integration programs
  • Anna Westin Legacy Act of 2022 [to date, passed within the House]
    • Supported primary care provider training in eating disorders screening, treatment, and expanded resources at the pediatric level
  • Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act [to date, passed within the House]
    • Urged legislators’ support to end opt outs from federal mental health and addiction parity requirements for non-federal government plans
  • Bipartisan Safer Communities Act [became law]
    • Urged legislators’ support of firearm safety provisions, funding for school climate efforts, and mental health services
    • Thanked legislators for their leadership on the emergency funding for youth and families’ mental health passed in the Act

Letters Supporting Bills

  • Fiscal Year 22 Consolidated Appropriations Bill (CAA) [passed]
    • Thanked legislators for their leadership in passing CAA with significant investments for mental health
    • Urged Congress to fully fund the crisis care continuum in lead up to the launch of 988 in July 2022
    • Urged Congress to pass bipartisan legislation prioritizing funding for mental health and substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery programs

Other

  • Integration of mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) into new HHS Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response 
    • Signed letter urging HHS to fully integrate mental health and substance use into the new Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response
  • Proposed Rule: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-1770-P
    • Endorsed letter to CMS commenting on the proposed rule, which includes changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

Children and Families 

Within this area of focus, national advocacy efforts of 2022 include: 

Testimonies

  • Supported MHLG testimony to the Senate Finance Committee on barriers to care for youth mental health

Letters Supporting Acts

  • Health Care Capacity for Pediatric Mental Health Act (S. 4472) [to date, introduced in the Senate]
    • Thanked legislators for introducing this Act to make investments in mental health for youth
  • Kids Online Safety Act [to date, introduced in the Senate]
    • Supported establishing new safeguards and controls, and holding social media companies accountable for creating safer digital environment
  • Advancing Student Services in Schools Today Act [to date, introduced in the House]
    • Endorsed funding to hire and retain mental health and substance use disorder care providers in schools
  • Child Poverty Reduction Act [to date, introduced in the House]
    • Supported codifying a national target to cut child poverty by half in a decade in the U.S.
  • Virtual Peer Support Act [to date, introduced in the Senate]
    • Supported provision of grant funding to facilitate the transition of virtual behavioral health peer support to online platforms
  • Into the Light For Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Act of 2022 [to date, introduced in the Senate]
    • Urged legislation to address expand prevention, collaborative care, and access to treatment for maternal mental health, suicide, and substance use

Letters Supporting Bills

  • Maternal Mental Health and Suicide [passed]
    • Requested funding and provisions to address maternal mental health as Congress considers FY23 budget

Actions You Can Take 

  • Advocate by raising awareness about key issues.
    • Raise awareness and fight misinformation by sharing evidence-based, reliable, and truthful information on social media.
    • Take social media action.
  • Contact your legislator to encourage their support. 

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