NAMI Applauds President Biden’s Continued Focus on Mental Health in the State of the Union
Arlington, VA — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) applauds President Biden for reiterating the importance of bipartisan efforts to address our nation’s ongoing mental health crisis in his State of the Union address last night. NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, agrees with the president that mental health must be a top priority for our nation.
No family is unaffected by mental health struggles. A poll by Ipsos last fall found that mental health is now Americans’ top health concern. Mental health is a bipartisan issue, with strong support from members of both parties to improve our country’s mental health care. In the words of President Biden, we need to “get the job done” to get every person the help they need.
The President touched on several priority areas for NAMI in his address, including:
- The need for "more first responders and other professionals to address growing mental health” and substance use challenges.
- A priority focus on youth mental health, especially by providing care in schools: “When millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma, we owe them greater access to mental health care at their schools."
- Addressing the needs of our nation’s veterans and servicemembers, including increased mental health screenings and expanding VA peer support, which he described as “a proven program that recruits veterans to help other veterans understand what they’re going through and get the help they need.”
In advance of the State of the Union address, the White House released a fact sheet covering the White House’s priorities to address the ongoing mental health crisis. The fact sheet particularly focused on veteran suicide, connecting more Americans to mental health care, improving crisis response through the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and strengthening the mental health system capacity and a diverse workforce, among other proposals.
Along with the fact sheet, the White House also released the White House Report on Mental Health Research Priorities yesterday. NAMI appreciates this focus on advancing mental health research, particularly the report's focus on addressing mental health inequities that exist systemwide, prioritizing youth mental health and improving treatment for people with serious mental illnesses. NAMI hears from peers, caregivers and providers on the need for more tools to address our national crisis. NAMI looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to ensure that research funding is a top priority in budget conversations.
NAMI thanks the President and his Administration for recognizing the importance of this issue. The NAMI Alliance stands ready to work with the Administration and leaders of both parties in Congress to keep mental health at the forefront of top policy efforts to implement solutions that improve the equity and accessibility of care to support every American affected by mental health conditions.
Learn more about NAMI’s priorities in the 118th Congress here.