Press Releases

Latest COVID-19 Relief Package Makes an Investment in Needed Mental Health Services

Mar 10 2021

Arlington, VA — Today the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. released the following statement after final congressional passage today of the latest COVID-19 Relief package including the American Rescue Plan Act. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for signature.

“It’s been nearly one year since the World Health Organization called the coronavirus a global pandemic. It has been a year of great suffering, and the state of our nation’s mental health reflects that. There is much work to be done to heal our country; work that will continue long after lockdowns are over, and masks tucked away. Trauma can have long-term negative effects on mental health.

The time is now to make real investments in mental health services, and our country is finally stepping up to the challenge in this COVID-19 relief package. NAMI is grateful for the leadership of the President and leaders in Congress for making these critical investments to improve the lives of people living with mental illness.”

The COVID-19 Relief Package Includes:

  • Nearly $4 billion for state and local mental health and substance use services, school-based mental health programs and workforce training
  • $140 million in funding to promote mental health among health care professionals and first responders
  • Incentives to expand Medicaid coverage, which helps people with mental illness who lack insurance, for the 12 remaining states who have not yet done so
  • More than $26 billion to help people maintain or get housing, including people with serious mental illness experiencing homelessness
  • Additional federal Medicaid funding to expand Mobile Crisis Teams, which help people experiencing mental health crises
  • $420 million for mental health services in the Indian Health Service