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Mental Health Governance

September 30, 2013"Better Solutions to Mental Illness" Letter to Senate Finance Committee 

January 31,2013 - APsaA joined several other organizations of the Mental Health Liaison Group in submitting to Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) a letter in favor of the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act (GLSMA), which currently supports active youth suicide prevention grants in 40 states, 38 tribes or tribal organizations, and 85 institutions of higher education. Unfortunately, more than 38,000 Americans die by suicide annually and suicide remains the second-leading cause of death for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24, resulting in 4,800 lives lost each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read the full letter here. 

October 5, 2012 - Sequestration, or mandatory budget cuts, are set to indiscriminately reduce funding for mental health programs by 8-11% unless Congress acts before January 2, 2013. To learn more about sequestration and to urge your members of Congress to work together to avoid it, visit the Mental Health America website and complete the Email Your Legislator form.

July 16, 2012 - At the last Mental Health Liaison Group meeting there was a presentation on the Children’s Mental Health Accessibility Act (S. 3289) was made by Megan Thompson of the Office of Senator Kerry (D-MA) and Rodney Whitlock of the Office of Senator Grassley, co-sponsors of the bill. APsaA has already signed on to support the bill. The presenters mentioned that the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver on which the bill is based operates in 9 states (Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland , Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, and Virginia) but will end in September if not reauthorized. The programs have enrolled 4,000 children who would otherwise be treated in a facility and have reduced their costs of care by about one-third. The bill would make these programs permanent in the 9 demonstration states and available in all other states.


April 16, 2012 – SAMHSA has launched its new health insurance enrollment webpage. Whether you are looking for a place to find information about insurance coverage or are researching what other states are doing to improve enrollment processes, the SAMHSA health insurance enrollment webpage will help connect you to that information. On the page you will find a number of resources including:

  • The opportunity to find coverage through's insurance finder
  • Current health insurance options, such as Medicaid, CHIP and the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan
  • Health insurance options available starting January 1, 2014, including expanded Medicaid eligibility and coverage through the Affordable Insurance Exchanges
  • Information about priority populations, such as young adults and individuals who have difficulty sustaining health insurance coverage, both of which have disproportionally high behavioral health needs
  • Provider specific information, such as webinars, fact sheets, and business operations resources
  • State specific information, such as State level behavioral health prevalence data, webinars, online eligibility applications, and information on SAMHSA specific projects like the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy - Health Reform Education program

November 17, 2010Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Mental Disorders