Mary Giliberti, CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), recently released a statement concerning the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee.
The subcommittee and the U.S. House of Representatives recently appropriated the fiscal year 2017 budget, changing the funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
NAMI is the biggest grassroots advocacy organization in the country. It is focused on improving the lives of the countless Americans who live with mental illness. With support, advocacy and education, NAMI helps people who have mental health conditions as well as their families.
Unfortunately, approximately 43 million Americans will no longer receive NAMI services if funding is cut. Every year, more than 42,000 Americans commit suicide, making it the second highest cause of death for 15 to 24-year-old Americans and the 10th highest cause of death for American adults.
“Investing in mental health research and services and supports can make these startling statistics a thing of the past and improve the lives of millions of Americans who live with mental health conditions and their families,” Giliberti said. “NAMI views these investments as the highest priority for our nation and this subcommittee.”
Now President Barack Obama has asked that the NIMH receive a flat funding rate for 2017 that amounts to $1.519 billion, a severe disappointment considering the fact that Obama has asked for $45 million extra for the BRAIN initiative.
NAMI has asked for support for further fiscal year 2017 changes; without funding, further research cannot be conducted to help people living with mental illnesses.