Over the course of the last month, the National Council urged our members to write to their legislators asking them to sign on to a letter in support of full funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). And you responded in force: over 1,000 of your contacted your Representatives in favor of behavioral health funding!
From an initial 7 signatures, the letter grew to 35 congressional supporters. The letter, initially authored by Representative Grace Napolitano (D-CA), urges House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to reject the 8.4% cut to SAMHSA that was outlined in the House Appropriations Committee proposal for the 2012 budget. If enacted, these cuts would return SAMHSA to its 1999 level of funding – a crippling, irreversible cut.
The National Council would like to take a moment to thank you for speaking up in support of SAMHSA funding. 2011 has been a particularly tough year for preserving important safety net programs, and we can only expect the budget situation to tighten over the coming years as cuts enacted under the Budget Control Act go into effect. Your advocacy at this critical time helps build a base of support for safety net programs, both now and in the future.