AUSTIN – Former Ohio Governor John Kasich and Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute President and CEO Andy Keller, PhD, discussed historic investments in mental health from the 117th U.S. Congress, including the 2022 Federal Omnibus Appropriation Bill, during the latest episode of their ongoing Conversation Series on Facebook. The omnibus legislation alone, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden in December, included many mental health-related policy items supported by the Meadows Institute.
“There was a consensus to do more, and there was a major round of investments and billions of additional dollars in mental health,” Keller said.
Initiatives—some of which were featured in Tuesday’s State of the Union address—included funding to further implement the 9-8-8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, pediatric mental health access, parity enforcement, and numerous grant programs that will significantly improve mental health care in the United States.
Governor Kasich said the investments in mental health care reflected a growing understanding about the importance of mental health in America.
“There has been a growing recognition that we have a mental health crisis in this country,” Governor Kasich said. “Now, all of a sudden, somebody heard … somebody listened.”
They also discussed the new Congress, which now has the House under Republican leadership and the Senate remaining with the Democrats, each by small margins. Mental health care, however, has consistently been a bipartisan issue, they agreed.
One thing I find with both Democrats and Republicans is everyone wants accountability, and everyone cares about mental health.
Andy Keller, PhD, President and CEO, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute
The episode will air starting at 12:30 p.m. CT on Thursday here. Previous episodes are available here.
Read the full press release here.