Spending Bill with Suicide Prevention for 2023
Yesterday, Congressional leaders introduced a bipartisan Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) omnibus spending bill that makes significant investments in suicide prevention and mental health programs, including many of the priorities AFSP's Public Policy Office has been advocating for all year.
This is including many of the priorities AFSP's Public Policy Office has been advocating for all year. The House and Senate are expected to consider this end-of-year package before the 117th Congress adjourns in the coming days, with passage required by Friday evening to avoid a government shutdown.
The remarkable investment in suicide prevention and mental health programs in the omnibus bill would not have been possible without the dedication of our advocates - thank you for all your hard work this year!
Specifically, the FY23 spending bill includes:
$501.6 million for 988 and Behavioral Health Crisis Services, a $390 million increase over the FY22 level. Funding is dedicated to build out a Behavioral Health Crisis and 988 Coordinating office at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), support Spanish speaker access, and improve capacity and infrastructure for youth contacting 988 through calls, chats, and texts. The bill also promotes follow-up care for those contacting 988 and directs SAMHSA to create a public awareness campaign for the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
$30 million for CDC's Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Program, a $10 million increase over the FY22 level. The program currently provides grants to 15 states and 2 universities to implement suicide prevention strategies for high-risk populations, including Veterans, racial and ethnic minorities, youth, members of the LGBTQ community, and others.\
$24.5 million for the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), matching the FY22 level, to support surveillance and data collection regarding violent deaths in the United States, including those by suicide. NVDRS provides valuable insight into trends that reveal which groups we should be targeting with prevention efforts.
$52.3 million for the Garrett Lee Smith-Youth Suicide Prevention State and Campus grants and $11 million for the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Resource Center, a $7 million and $2 million increase over FY22 levels, respectively. These programs enable states, campuses, and Tribal communities to implement suicide prevention programs for youth.
$385 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, a $70 million increase over the FY22 level, to connect individuals with coordinated, comprehensive behavioral health care in their communities.
$1.01 billion for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, $150 million increase over the FY22 level, including a five percent set-aside of the total for evidence-based crisis care programs that address the needs of individuals with serious mental illnesses, children with serious emotional disturbances, or individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
The omnibus spending bill also contains several important new provisions, including expanding access to mental health care through Medicare, connecting more people to suicide prevention services and risk screening in healthcare settings and emergency departments, and supporting the mental health needs of Veterans.
AFSP is grateful to Congress for including a robust set of mental health and suicide prevention priorities in the spending package, and we look forward to its swift passage before the 117th Congress adjourns this year. To learn more about the AFSP priorities in the FY23 Omnibus, read our press release.
Once again, thank you for your advocacy this year. This important progress in suicide prevention would not be possible without you and we look forward to continuing our work together next year!