The Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) is a coalition of national organizations representing consumers, family members, mental health and addiction providers, advocates, payers and other stakeholders committed to strengthening Americans’ access to mental health and addiction care. As trusted leaders in the field, our 70+ member organizations are dedicated to elevating the national conversation around mental health and addiction. Together, we work to advance federal policies that support prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery services and supports.
What We Do
The MHLG is a forum for collaboration among the leading national mental health and addiction-focused organizations. Together, we provide policymakers with information and support in advancing our shared policy priorities. The MHLG hosts congressional staff briefings to share information on trends and best practices in the field; provides annual recommendations on mental health and addiction funding in the federal appropriations bills; writes letters to Congress outlining our position on important legislation or offering suggestions for improving proposed policies; and more. The MHLG has two key committees that provide information and resources on current issues:
- Health Policy Committee 2021: For over 20 years, the health policy committee of the MHLG has provided a space for members to meet monthly to discuss legislative and public policy issues within a health policy committee. These meetings typically include congressional or federal agency staff and external experts as invited speakers. For the 117th Congress, the Health Policy Committee is chaired by Elizabeth Cullen of the Jewish Federations of North America and Katrina Velasquez of the Eating Disorders Coalition. Laurel Stine of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention serves as an ex-officio member and chair of the Board of Directors.
- Budget and Appropriations Committee: This committee convenes MHLG members with a strong interest in federal appropriations and is tasked with developing the yearly MHLG Appropriation Recommendations. For the 117th Congress, the Budget and Appropriations Committee is chaired by Michael Petruzzelli of the National Council for Behavioral Health, Natalie Tietjen of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and David Koss of SMART Recovery.
The Liaison Group on Mental Health was formed in May 1969 by the American Psychiatric Association, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, Mental Health America (then known as the National Mental Health Association), and others. From the beginning, the Liaison Group provided its members with the opportunity to exchange political intelligence, form cooperative advocacy efforts, coordinate strategies and discuss public policy issues related to mental health and addiction. Now known as the MHLG, it has continued to grow over the decades, with over 70 member organizations plus additional observers and affiliate members. The MHLG was incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in 2015.
For a glimpse into the history of the MHLG, we welcome you to review the presentation by E. Clarke Ross, D.P.A.
The membership of the MHLG includes more than 70 national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of individuals living with mental illness or addiction. Click here for a full list of our members.
Our Board of Directors
Chair: Laurel Stine, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Secretary: Phyllis Foxworth, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Margot Aronson, Clinical Social Work Association
Sarah Butts, National Association of Social Workers
Elizabeth Cullen, The Jewish Federations of North America
Diana Felner, Tourette Association of America
Adrienne Griffin, Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance
Samuel J. Hewitt, American Nurses Association
David Koss, SMART Recovery
Keygan Miller, The Trevor Project
Craig Obey, American Psychiatric Association
Reyna Taylor, National Council for Behavioral Health
Peggy Tighe, American Psychoanalytic Association
For questions, comments, more information or a request to join the MHLG, please contact us using our contact form.