373, 000 Children and Adults Will Lose MH Services--Unless Congress Acts!

373,000 Children and Adults Will Lose Vital Mental Health Services-Unless Congress Acts: Tell Your Legislators to Stop Sequestration

Mental Health America February 27, 2013

373,000-That’s the number of children and adults who will lose vital mental health services because of automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect on March 1-unless Congress acts to prevent them.

The cuts-called a sequester-are required under the Budget Control Act of 2011,which required $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts from most federal programs over 10 years if a deficit reduction plan isn’t reached. That would translate into a nine (9) percent cut from vital domestic programs.

These mandatory cuts will have a devastating impact on mental health and substance use programs and services and related public health programs that are supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and other key agencies:

  • Cuts to the Mental Health Block Grant program would mean 373,000 adults and children with serious mental illness will lose access to treatment.
  • Hundreds of thousands of children and adults will be at risk of losing access to any type of public mental health support.
  • Close to 8,900 homeless persons with serious mental illness would lose vital outreach, treatment, housing, and support they need.

These programs and services represent a small and shrinking share of the federal budget and our overall economy. They are not drivers of the debt. But to date, they have borne the brunt of deficit reduction efforts. And further cuts will harm hundreds of thousands of children and families who rely on these programs and services for help and support-unless Congress works together to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction that stops sequestration andprotects public health programs. TAKE ACTION!