SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
January/February 2011, Volume 19, Number 1 

image of the seal of the President of the United States

President’s Budget Focuses on Prevention, Fiscal Responsibility

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Budget requests $3.6 billion for SAMHSA—an increase of $67 million over FY 2010. A total of $93 million is funded through the Prevention Fund.

“The FY 2012 Budget shows a commitment to behavioral health,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “With that commitment comes the recognition that we need to do things differently, use a different approach.”

The FY 2012 Budget request reflects a focus on SAMHSA's Strategic Initiatives (see Administrator's message). In particular, it includes a changed budget structure and policy focus that emphasize meeting the behavioral health needs of people rather than focusing on the conditions that affect them.

It also reflects the implementation of a theory of change—specifically, SAMHSA’s budget supports innovation by identifying solutions to emerging issues through the use of limited, short-term discretionary grants. Those evidence-based practice and policy solutions are then moved into the Nation's behavioral health system through Block Grants to states, formula grants to states and tribes, ongoing discretionary grants, Medicaid/Medicare, or private insurance.

The Budget represents a bold plan of action to increase effectiveness and efficiency, embrace opportunities presented by changes in the Nation's health care system, and better meet the behavioral health needs of the Nation.


The Budget includes $1.9 billion, an increase of $54 million over FY 2010, for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Block Grants to activate evidence-based treatment strategies nationwide and maintain the Nation’s behavioral health treatment infrastructure.

Funding for treatment infrastructure has declined in recent years as many states have scaled back their investments in behavioral health in the face of budget shortfalls. As access to health services—including mental health and substance abuse services—expands, SAMHSA will work with states to use their Block Grant funds more strategically through the use of evidence-based treatment strategies and interventions.


Preventing substance abuse and mental illness is essential to maintain overall health for the American people. The Budget includes $535 million, an increase of $55 million over FY 2010, for new and expanded substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion grants to states and tribes to bring evidence-based prevention strategies to scale nationwide. SAMHSA will partner with states to use data-driven planning processes to address problems in communities through proven practices.

Substance Abuse-State Prevention Grant ($395 million). The Budget includes funding for a new Substance Abuse-State Prevention Grant by combining disparate substance abuse prevention funding streams to states to avoid duplication, improve coordination, and better leverage resources. The Budget will create a sustainable source of prevention funding for all states to employ evidence-based substance abuse prevention practices to address existing and emerging issues in high-risk communities.

Mental Health-State Prevention Grant ($90 million). The Budget includes funding for a Mental Health-State Prevention Grant through an expansion of Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health). These grants will enable states to conduct evidence-based prevention and wellness interventions focused on children by targeting the common set of risk factors that lead to substance abuse and mental illness.

Behavioral Health-Tribal Prevention Grant ($50 million). The Budget includes a new Behavioral Health-Tribal Prevention Grant. Grants will be awarded to federally recognized tribes to activate strategies to prevent alcohol and substance abuse and prevent suicides. SAMHSA will coordinate with the Indian Health Service (IHS) to activate community-based prevention strategies.

Preventing Suicide ($48 million). The Budget dedicates the same funding as FY 2010 to prevent suicide and sustains the capacity of the national hotline that routes calls across the country.

Establishing Prevention-Prepared Communities ($23 million). A community-level initiative will serve young people during their at-risk years by activating comprehensive, evidence-based community prevention programs. The Budget will support 30 communities in identifying their predominant substance abuse and mental health issues and selecting the appropriate evidence-based strategies to target the risk and protective factors contributing to these issues.

Preventing Youth Violence ($94 million). SAMHSA collaborates with the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice through the Safe Schools/ Healthy Students program. SAMHSA-supported interventions foster early childhood development of mental and physical health, reduce or delay the onset of emotional and behavioral problems, and treat children with serious emotional disturbances.

Improving Children’s Mental Health ($121 million). Coordinated systems of mental health care for children are proven to sustain mental health improvements. The Budget includes funding for Children’s Mental Health Services for the development of comprehensive community-based systems of care for children and adolescents with serious emotional disorders and their families.

Assisting in the Transition from Homelessness

Approximately one-fifth of homeless individuals also have serious mental illness. The Budget dedicates a total of $154 million, an increase of $12 million, for services to support individuals suffering from mental illness and facing homelessness. Included within this funding is $16 million for a new collaborative Housing and Homeless Initiative with the Department of Housing and Urban Development that will combine health, behavioral health, and other support services to move and maintain chronically homeless individuals with mental and substance use disorders into permanent supportive housing.

Health Surveillance and Program Support

The Budget includes $128 million, an increase of $26 million, for the support of national survey efforts and the administration of SAMHSA programs. The majority of this increase will support data collection and analysis, including increased costs associated with ongoing efforts as well as enhancing data collection on drug related emergency room visits and deaths. Analyses conducted through SAMHSA’s national surveys are used by Federal, State, and local authorities, as well as health care providers, to inform policymakers regarding substance use and mental disorders, the impact and treatment of these disorders, and the recovery process.

The chart below is re-created from page 42 of The HHS Budget in Brief released in mid-February 2011.

The SAMHSA website includes the Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees, and other information. For comparisons, for example, the SAMHSA website includes the budgets for Fiscal Year 2005 through 2011.

SAMHSA Budget Authority by Activity (dollars in millions)

  2010 2011 2012 2012 +/- 2010 Omnibus
Substance Abuse:        
Substance Abuse Block Grant
1,455 1,455 1,494 +40
Mental Health Block Grant
421 421 435 +14
State, Tribal, and Community Prevention Grants
480 481 535 +55
Substance Abuse-State Prevention Grant (non add)
455 456 395 -60
Mental Health-State Prevention Grant (i.e., Project LAUNCH) (non add)
25 25 90 +65
Behavioral Health Tribal Prevention Grant (Prevention Fund) (non add)
50 +50
Innovations & Emerging Issues
831 881 790 -41
Mental Health (non add)
348 363 291 -57
Substance Abuse Prevention (non add)
76 76 69 -6
Substance Abuse Treatment (non add)
408 433 393 -15
Children’s Mental Health Services
121 121 121
PATH Homeless Grant
65 65 65
Regulatory & Oversight Functions
55 55 55
Protection and Advocacy (non add)
36 36 36
Public Awareness & Support
14 14 14 -1
Performance & Quality Information Systems
37 38 13 -24
Program Management
102 120 128 +26
St. Elizabeths
1 1 -1
Total, Program Level
3,583 3,651 3,649 +67
Less Funds Allocated from Other Sources:        
PHS Evaluation Funds
-132 -132 -170 -38
Affordable Care Act Prevention Fund
-20 -88 -93 -73
Total, Budget Authority
3,431 3,432 3,387 -44
FTE 537 537 544 +7

Source: The HHS Budget in Brief (PDF – 907KB) provides an overview of the HHS Budget and how the Budget supports the major initiatives of the Department.

For more on SAMHSA’s 2012 budget, visit SAMHSA’s website.

  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Increasing Outreach, Feedback, and Virtual Communities

Increasing Outreach, Feedback, and Virtual Communities

SAMHSA has developed a “digital engagement” program with presences on major social media channels.

  From the Administrator  
Above All, SAMHSA Seeks To Improve Lives

Above All, SAMHSA Seeks To Improve Lives

SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., talks about SAMHSA’s newly revised document on the Strategic Initiatives. Read more.

  In the News  
President’s Budget

President’s Budget

The FY 2012 Budget requests $3.6 billion for SAMHSA. View the chart.

Oil Spill Update: Call 1-800-985-5990

Oil Spill Update: Call 1-800-985-5990

To support those affected, SAMHSA and the Ad Council created a new awareness campaign.

  Military Families  
Presidential Initiative

Presidential Initiative

A new directive establishes a coordinated Federal approach to supporting military families. View Resources.

Prevention Day 2011

Prevention Day 2011

Prevention Day included games and fun for local students. Photo Gallery.

  National Expenditures  
Behavioral Health Spending Down

Behavioral Health Spending Down

In 2005, $1.8 trillion was spent on all U.S. health care services; behavioral health spending accounted for 7.3 percent.

  Suicide Prevention  
Marvel Comics’ Superheroes Help

Marvel Comics’ Superheroes Help

“Captain America” is giving a little help to save young lives. Read more on SAMHSA’s blog.

Suicidal Thoughts & Behaviors: Who’s at Risk?

Suicidal Thoughts & Behaviors: Who’s at Risk?

An estimated 8.4 million adults age 18 or older had serious thoughts of suicide last year.

  Treatment Admissions  
Dramatic Shifts State by State

Dramatic Shifts State by State

By region, treatment admissions show striking variations.

Trauma-Related Counseling

Trauma-Related Counseling

Mental health screenings can help identify clients who have experienced trauma.

Months Away, But . . .

Months Away, But . . .

Things are happening on the Recovery Month website. View webcasts and more.

  Statistics & Data  
Jump in Number of Pharmaceutical-Related Emergencies

Jump in Number of Pharmaceutical-Related Emergencies

A 98.4-percent increase in ER visits is related to the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals.

  Visit the SAMHSA Store  

Free Publications at Your Fingertips

SAMHSA’s website includes the new SAMHSA Store for publications and other Agency products. Visit

SAMHSA Store Video Tour

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