Statement from National Council on Senate HELP Subcommittee Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC (May 17, 2023) — National Council for Mental Wellbeing President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia today released the following statement in response to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee on primary health and retirement security to discuss access to care.  

“We thank Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ranking Member Roger Marshall (R-KS) for holding this important hearing and for their commitment to improving access to mental health and substance use care nationwide.

“The most effective way to improve access to mental health and substance use disorder care is to establish Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) as a lasting part of our health care system.

“The ongoing mental health and substance use crises demand that we prioritize what works. CCBHCs have demonstrated since 2017, when the first one opened, that they work because they save lives, save money, create jobs and provide communities with a sustainable approach to help those with mental health and substance use challenges. CCBHCs are more than an experiment. They are more than a promising model. CCBHCs have become a vital part of our health care system, so we urge lawmakers to treat them as such. This important change will ensure more communities can improve access to care, help veterans, help young people, reduce wait times and reduce hospitalizations.

“Testimony today from Steve Denny at Four County Mental Health Center provided just one example of the transformative impact CCBHCs have in their communities. Because of Four County’s work, veterans in Southeast Kansas receive the care they need, nine school districts throughout the region have programs to help students coping with mental health challenges and people receive care sooner, often receiving same-day care.”

About The National Council

Founded in 1969, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing is a membership organization that drives policy and social change on behalf of over 3,300 mental health and substance use treatment organizations and the more than 10 million children, adults and families they serve. We advocate for policies to ensure equitable access to high-quality services. We build the capacity of mental health and substance use treatment organizations. And we promote greater understanding of mental wellbeing as a core component of comprehensive health and health care. Through our Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, we have trained more than 3 million people in the U.S. to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.

Media Contact

Sophia Majlessi 202-621-1631