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NAMI encourages you to make calls today or tomorrow to your congressional delegation to urge them to sign on to a number of “Dear Colleague” letters currently circulating in Congress on FY 2013 funding for mental illness research, services and supportive housing. These letters are directed to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and are critical to preventing cuts to programs important to NAMI, such as NIMH research, the Mental Health Block Grant and the HUD Section 811 program.

The “ask” here is fairly simple:
Calls to Senators – Urge them to sign on to the following letters:

  1. The Stabenow letter in support of FY 2013 funding for the Mental Health Block Grant program as a key federal response to deep cuts in state mental health budgets;
  2. The Kohl-Menendez letter in opposition to cuts proposed in the President’s budget for the HUD Section 811 program; and
  3. The Reed-Snowe letter in support of an increase for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance and VASH (supportive housing for homeless veterans living with mental illness) programs.
Calls to House Members – Urge them to sign on to the following letters:
  1. The Bilbray-Markey letter in support of a $1.3 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health(NIH) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); and
  2. Representative Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) letter in opposition to cuts proposed in the President’s budget for the HUD Section 811 program.

All House and Senate offices can be reached by calling (202) 224-3121. The deadline for sign-ons is coming quickly – March 20, 2012 in the House and March 23, 2012 in the Senate. These deadlines were set by Congress in the undertaking for the FY 2013 budget.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Andrew Sperling at (888) 999-6264, ext. 7940, or by e-mail at

Finally, state and local NAMI organizations can also support FY 2013 for key NAMI housing programs by joining hundreds of other advocacy organizations in signing on to letters to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging increased allocations for the Transportation-HUD bill that contains funding for the HUD 811, McKinney-Vento and VASH programs. Without an adequate overall allocation (known as the 302b allocation), funding will be vulnerable to cuts later this year.

Sign-on to the “302b” letter for the Transportation-HUD Appropriations bill that will cover key housing programs such as HUD 811, McKinney-Vento and VASH.

Read further background on each of these letters and the President’s FY 2013 budget request can be found at.

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