NAMI Calls on Congress to Respond to the Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Caused By the COVID–19 Pandemic

Apr 8, 2020

Today, NAMI joined more than a dozen of the nation’s leading mental health organizations in calling for specific additions to the next stimulus package to address the profound mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Access to critical care must be sustained for the millions of Americans living with mental health and substance use disorders, as well as those who may now need help due to isolation, grief, unemployment, increased anxiety, and more.

The COVID-19 pandemic is overwhelming our communities and our nation’s health care system, including for mental health and addiction. Congress must take immediate action to prevent the behavioral health system from collapsing and to mitigate a greater public health andeconomic crisis from untreated mental illness and addiction.

In the fourth stimulus package, the following emergency appropriations and policy changes are urgently needed.

Emergency Funding To Save Existing Treatment Infrastructure $38.5 Billion

Emergency Funding To Expand Services For Covid-19 Response $10 Billion

9-8-8 National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Hotline

Maintain and Enhance Local Crisis Response

Access To Equitable Coverage

Guarantee Patient Access to Telehealth

Ensure Access to Medications

Improve Parity Compliance (Including in Telehealth)


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
The Kennedy Forum
Mental Health America
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Council for Behavioral Health
Well Being Trust
2020 MOM
Addiction Professionals of North Carolina
CADA of Northwest Louisiana
California Access Coalition
California Consortium of Addiction Programs & Professionals
California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
Caron Treatment Centers
Connecticut Certification Board
Eating Disorders Coalition
Illinois Association of Behavioral Health
International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium
Residential Eating Disorders Consortium
Sandy Hook Promise
Steinberg Institute

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).