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SAMHSA News - March/April 2005, Volume 13, Number 2

President's 2006 Budget Proposes $3.3 Billion for SAMHSA

seal of the President of the United StatesPresident George W. Bush’s Fiscal Year 2006 budget for SAMHSA proposes $50.8 million in new funds for the President’s Access to Recovery Initiative for drug treatment and $6 million in new funding to continue revamping the Nation’s mental health system. In all, the President’s budget proposes $3.3 billion in SAMHSA funding for Fiscal Year 2006.

While the budget request reflects a $56 million reduction in SAMHSA program-level funding from 2005, SAMHSA officials pointed out that the President’s budget sustains SAMHSA efforts to:

  • Expand substance abuse treatment capacity in new and innovative ways.

  • Strengthen and streamline substance abuse prevention efforts.

  • Achieve a wholesale transformation of the Nation’s mental health service delivery system.

  • Improve accountability and increase state flexibility in using Block Grant funds.

“For the upcoming year, we have once again proposed an aggressive agenda for SAMHSA that supports our vision and mission, while at the same time upholding fiscal responsibility and good stewardship of the people’s money,” said SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W. “It has focused SAMHSA staff and the field on planting a few ‘redwoods’ rather than letting ‘a thousand flowers bloom.’ ”

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Substance Abuse

The Fiscal Year 2006 budget includes $2.4 billion, a net increase of $10 million, for effective substance abuse treatment and prevention activities.

Opening New Pathways to Recovery. The President proposes a 50-percent increase for his Access to Recovery State Voucher Program, bringing the total funding level for the program to $150 million. Access to Recovery allows people seeking treatment and recovery services to choose among qualified community providers, including those that are faith-based. The program recognizes that there are many pathways to recovery from addiction. Through this program, individuals are assessed, given a voucher for appropriate services, and provided with a list of service providers from which they can choose. Additional funding will enable SAMHSA to expand this innovative program to 7 more states in Fiscal Year 2006, for a total of 22 participating states. States will have the flexibility to focus their efforts on the areas of greatest need.

The budget request also includes $31 million for the Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment Program, which allows states to expand the continuum of care to include services for non-dependent drug users. In Fiscal Year 2006, SAMHSA plans to fund an additional two states, for a total of nine states receiving funding.

Promoting Effective Prevention. The President’s budget request underscores the need to build capacity for comprehensive, evidence-based substance abuse prevention programs. Of the $184 million allocated for substance abuse prevention, $93 million is earmarked for SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework. SAMHSA awarded its first Strategic Prevention Framework grants in 2004 to 21 states and territories.

Substance Abuse Block Grant. The President’s budget includes $1.8 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant—the same level as Fiscal Year 2005. The Block Grant provides funding to more than 10,500 community-based organizations and is the cornerstone of states’ substance abuse financing.

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Mental Health

The budget includes $837 million for mental health services, a decrease of $64 million from Fiscal Year 2005. However, transforming the Nation’s mental health system remains one of SAMHSA’s highest priorities—as recommended by the President’s Commission on Mental Health. Funding also is provided to sustain discretionary grant activities.

Transforming the Mental Health System. The Fiscal Year 2006 budget proposes $26 million for State Incentive Grants for Transformation, an increase of $6 million over 2005. These grants encourage states to develop comprehensive state mental health plans to reduce system fragmentation and, ultimately, improve quality of mental health care for people with mental illness. SAMHSA will award eight State Incentive Grants for Transformation in Fiscal Year 2005, as well as three new grants in 2006.

New grantees will undertake planning and coordination activities in tandem with a diverse array of agencies such as criminal justice, housing, child welfare, labor, and education. In the second year of funding, states can use 85 percent of grant funds to support the community-based programs identified in their state plans. The remaining 15 percent will be used to support ongoing planning activities.

The President’s request also proposes to maintain the same level of funding for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant—the only Federal program that provides funds to every state to deliver mental health services and improve the public mental health system. The Block Grant also gives states the flexibility to transform the system of care for people with mental illness on a statewide basis.

Other Mental Health Programs. The budget maintains funding for community-based systems of care for children and youth, services for people who are homeless, and protection and advocacy programs. It provides $67 million for youth violence prevention, $30 million for the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, and more than $16 million for suicide prevention.

The President’s budget also calls for more than $5 million in new funding for the SAMHSA HIV/AIDS Minority Mental Health Services Program, which will enable SAMHSA to award 11 new grants in Fiscal Year 2006. It also provides resources to increase access to mental health services to some of the Nation’s most vulnerable citizens, including people with co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, older Americans, and traumatized children.

Data Strategy Vision. As a part of its data strategy, SAMHSA, in collaboration with states and other grantees, has agreed to implement the National Outcome Measures (NOMS) to standardize the measures monitoring, assessing, and evaluating all SAMHSA programs. SAMHSA will initiate a new program, the State Outcomes Measurement and Management System, in Fiscal Year 2005 to support information technology upgrades, training, and analysis required for collection and use of the NOMS. Reporting of NOMS by all states will be phased in over 3 years.

Gathering information on a common and focused set of national outcomes will help SAMHSA, states, and local communities collect relevant data that are useful to assess program performance and identify any specific populations that need special assistance. Over time, use of the standardized outcome measures will help track progress toward state-established targets and will provide for continuous program improvement at Federal and state levels.

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Online Links to Budget Information

SAMHSA’s Web site offers downloads of the Fiscal Year 2006 budget in both PDF and MS Word formats at www.samhsa.gov/Budget/index.aspx. In addition, a “Budget in Brief” is available at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Web site at www.hhs.govEnd of Article

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Budget Authority by Activity (Dollars in Millions)

  2004 2005 2006 2006 +/- 2005
Substance Abuse:  
Substance Abuse Block Grant $1,779 $1,776 $1,776 $0
Programs of Regional and National Significance:  
Treatment 419 422 447 +25
Prevention 199 199 184 -15
Subtotal, Substance Abuse $2,397 $2,397 $2,407 +$10
Mental Health:  
Mental Health Block Grant $434 $433 $433 $0
PATH Homeless Formula Grant 50 55 55 0
Programs of Regional and National Significance 241 274 210 -64
Children's Mental Health Services 102 105 105 0
Protection and Advocacy 35 34 34 0
Subtotal, Mental Health $862 $901 $837 -$64
Program Management $92 $94 $92 -$2
Total, Program Level $3,351 $3,392 $3,336 -$56
Less Funds Allocated from Other Sources:  
PHS Evaluation Funds -117 -123 -121 +2
Total, Discretionary BA $3,234 $3,269 $3,215 -$54
FTE 519 558 558 0

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Web site, “Budget in Brief,” at www.hhs.gov/budget/05budget/
(page 40, PDF format).

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Inside This Issue

Initiative Helps End Chronic Homelessness
Part 1
Part 2
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Recovery Month 2005

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SAMHSA News - March/April 2005, Volume 13, Number 2

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