Foundations Across the U.S. Urge Federal Policymakers to Consider Behavioral Health Care in Reform Efforts
January 5, 2010
A dozen major foundations across the United States have signed a position statement urging federal policymakers to address mental health and substance use issues in their efforts to reform the nation’s health care system. The statement was prepared by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
Behavioral health is essential to overall health and wellness and should be an integral part of national health care reform. The statement identifies six critical policy areas where change can improve efficiency and effectiveness of behavioral health services: integrated health care, community-based services, parity, prevention and early intervention, workforce development and health information technology.
Each policy area is discussed in detail in the position statement.
As of Dec. 21, 12 funders in 10 states – Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and Texas – had signed the statement. Many have funded national, state and local programs and projects that demonstrate how the six policy areas identified in the statement can benefit health care. More foundations are expected to pledge their support in the coming weeks after receiving formal approval from their boards.
Dr. Lynda Frost, director of planning and programs at the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health in Austin, Texas, drafted the statement on behalf of the Grantmakers In Health Behavioral Health Funders Network and coordinated with the network’s members and other health care foundations to distribute the statement and collect signatures.
Membership in the network is not required to sign the statement and all interested foundations are invited to participate. For more information or to sign the statement, contact Lynda Frost, (512) 471-9150.