Tonko Delivers Boost to Nation’s Mental Health & Addiction Recovery
Tonko-led 2022 Budget provisions would strengthen funding for substance use and mental health programs, harm reduction & support research in COVID impact on kids’ mental health
WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko cheered House passage today of major funding expansions for U.S. mental health and addiction programs that he has been pushing to secure as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 Federal Budget. Tonko provisions that advanced in the package include funding for opioid treatment programs, substance use prevention grants and research to examine the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children.
“Last year, we lost 93,000 neighbors and loved ones to drug overdose. 93,000,” Congressman Tonko said. “It is more critical than ever that we deliver the resources needed to combat the disease of addiction and help countless struggling Americans find and follow the path of recovery. And we cannot ignore the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the mental health of millions of Americans especially our children. Today the House took urgently-needed action to tackle these crises and support our communities. I’ll continue pushing to ensure that, through this pandemic and beyond, we improve and expand access to treatments that will help those most in need.”
Rep. Tonko has long championed greater support for addiction treatment and mental health services. In the wake of the pandemic, he introduced the COVID-19 Mental Health Research Act, legislation that would fund research to study the effects COVID-19 has on the mental health of Americans, with an emphasis on its impact on children and health care providers.
During his years in Congress, he has also advanced numerous bills to expand addiction treatment and address the nation’s opioid crisis. Earlier this month, Tonko and his colleagues sent a letter to President Biden calling for him to support the bipartisan MAT Act and strengthen access to medication-assisted treatment.
Mental health and addiction provisions in the House-passed legislation include: