With the enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act in December of 2016, the first major reform to our mental health care system in decades was achieved. Bipartisan efforts led to multiple provisions that will improve mental health care for millions of Americans and help ensure earlier intervention and better treatment options for individuals and families that need help.
Important reforms in the 21st Century Cures Act made mental health services more affordable, provided new funding authorizations for research programs to develop best practices in mental health treatment that are backed by science, and established new federal grants to increase the number of mental health providers nationwide. In addition, the legislation pushed states to develop early intervention for psychosis and serious mental illness, which is needed for the best hopes of recovery.
However, patients and families have yet to benefit from many of these programs due to our government operating on continuing resolutions resulting in the inability to provide funding without completion of the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriation bills. To date, many of these programs have yet to receive any funding. As such, we respectfully request that as you are completing the FY 2018 appropriations package, you include necessary funding to ensure the that the programs established in the 21st Century Cures Act achieve the success that was intended by Congress. These programs can be found in the attached Congressional Research Service report.
As our nation faces many challenges, we remain committed to ensuring better identification, treatment and care for those facing mental health issues. Thank you for your help and support in this endeavor.