On March 22, 2018, the House passed a bipartisan FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, 2018. The bill passed the House with a vote of 256-167 (90 Republicans and 77 Democrats voted against the bill). The Senate is expected to begin work on the bill immediately to prevent a government shutdown before the current continuing resolution ends on Friday.
The $1.3 trillion bill substantially boosts several of NAMI’s key priorities. The bill includes significant investments in research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), to the Mental Health Block Grant and to key programs at the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and Justice. By including meaningful funding increases for these programs, Congress has taken a crucial step to support individuals with mental health conditions.
Below is a summary of key provisions that impact people with mental illness and their families (increases noted below reflect additional funding over FY 2017 numbers).
Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)
The bill significantly boosts National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funding and programs at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Overall, NIH will see a $3B increase in FY 2018.
Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)
The omnibus budget significantly increases HUD funding in several key areas:
McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
The omnibus bill includes substantial investments in programs for veterans who live with mental health conditions and veterans in crisis:
VA Mental Health Services and Programs
Veteran Suicide Prevention Programs and Outreach
Honor Our Commitment Act
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Finally, the budget also includes increases to programs at DOJ that affect people with mental illness:
Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA)
Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG)
Veterans Treatment Courts