Historic Funding for Mental Health Care Championed by Murphy Included in FY23 Government Funding Legislation
January 17, 2023
a leader on mental health reform in the Senate, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy
(D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and the
U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, helped secure
historic amounts of funding in the fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill
to expand access to mental health care, enforce parity protections, and build a
pipeline of mental health care providers. Between the omnibus and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, all of the
provisions in Murphy’s Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act were
passed into law in the 117th Congress.
country continues to tolerate a health care system that doesn't have the
resources to match the millions of Americans who face mental health
crisis. I don't accept this reality, and that's why over the last
year, I worked with my colleagues to put billions of new dollars into
helping more Americans access the mental health care they deserve. From
ensuring insurance companies cover mental health just like physical health to
making it easier for parents to find and afford care for their children, we’ve
made huge strides in addressing our broken health care system,” said Murphy.
mental health priorities included in the FY23 omnibus:
in Mental Health: Murphy supported the inclusion of:
- $191.1 million for the
Employee Benefits Security Administration, an increase of $5.6 million
from FY22, to strengthen oversight over mental health parity laws.
- $1.01 billion for
Mental Health Block Grants, a $150 million increase over FY22.
- $25 million for
Graduate Psychology Education, a $5 million increase over FY22.
- $55.877 million for
Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration.
and Maintaining the Behavioral Health System: The omnibus reauthorized and
expanded over 30 programs that support mental health and substance use disorder
continuum of care, including 12 programs Murphy championed in his Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act with
U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.):
- The Mental Health Block
Grant, which provides states with flexible funding to provide
comprehensive community mental health services, was reauthorized with a 5%
set-aside for crisis care.
- Grants for Jail
Diversion, which provides funds to states to help justice-involved
individuals with mental health or substance use disorder access necessary
- Assisted Outpatient
Treatment, which provides access to treatment options for individuals with
serious mental illness.
- Programs for Assistance
in Transition from Homelessness, which supports activities to help
unhoused individuals with mental illness exit homelessness.
- Minority Fellowship
Program, which increases providers’ competency at providing
culturally-sensitive mental health and substance use disorder care for
racial and ethnic minorities.
- Priority Mental Health
Needs of National Significance, which provides flexible funding for
activities in priority areas of mental health need.
- The National Mental
Health and Substance Use Disorder Policy Laboratory, which identifies and
implements clinical, research and policy initiatives to improve use of
evidence-based practices across SAMHSA programs.
- Programs for Children
with Serious Emotional Disturbance, which provides comprehensive
community-based mental health services for these children and their
- Mental and Behavioral
Health Education and Training Grants, which strengthen the behavioral
- Promoting Integration
of Primary Care and Behavioral Health, which funds projects to integrate
mental and physical health services.
Mental Health Parity Protections: Murphy fought to include two provisions in the
omnibus that will help ensure more consumers have access to health insurance
plans that provide adequate coverage for mental health services.
- The law authorizes $10
million annually in grants to states to help them enforce mental health
parity laws. Murphy introduced these grants in his Parity Implementation Assistance Act.
- The law also extends mental
health parity to state and local government workers, eliminating the
ability of health plans to opt out—a provision that was included in
Murphy’s Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act.
fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill also included more than $236 million for congressionally directed spending projects
in Connecticut and billions more to upgrade the Northeast Corridor, combat gun
violence, support under-resourced communities, and promote national security.