Founded in 1969, and incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) in 2015, the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG at www.mhlg.org) is a membership organization comprised of national groups 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. The MHLG also partners with over 40 affiliate member organizations.
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
- Elizabeth A. Cullen, The Jewish Federations of North America
- Craig Obey, American Psychiatric Association
- Samuel Hewitt, American Nurses Association
- Diana Felner, Tourette Association of America
- Peggy Tighe, American Psychoanalytic Association
- Reyna Taylor, National Council for Behavioral Health
- David Koss, SMART Recovery
- Sarah Butts, National Association of Social Workers
- Keygan Miller, The Trevor Project
- Adrienne Griffin, Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance
- Andrew Strickland, American Psychological Association
- Michael Linskey, National Alliance on Mental Illness
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
- 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. The monthly meetings are routinely held on the first Friday, from 10:30am-noon, and have been virtual via Zoom since April 2020. Previously, meetings were held at the American Psychological Association, conveniently located near Union Station. These meetings typically include congressional or federal agency staff and external experts as invited speakers.
- Co-chairs: Elizabeth Cullen, The Jewish Federations of North America; Katrina Velasquez, Eating Disorders Coalition; Cynthia Whitney, Children’s Hospital Association and Andrew Strickland, American Psychological Association, with Laurel Stine, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, serving as an ex-officio member
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 programs under the Substances Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
- Co-chairs: Michael Petruzzelli, National Council for Mental Wellbeing; David Koss, SMART Recovery; Hannah Wesolowski, National Alliance on Mental Illness; Natalie Weiner, National Council for Mental Wellbeing
In 2021, the MHLG formed workgroups that discuss policy, write letters and provide information/expertise to the Health Policy Committee:
- Telehealth Workgroup
Co-liaisons: Lauren Conaboy, Centerstone; Elizabeth Cullen, Jewish Federations of North America; Sarah Corcoran, Guide Consulting
- Parity Workgroup
Co-liaisons: Tim Clement, American Psychiatric Association; Kirsten Beronio, National Association for Behavioral Healthcare; David Lloyd, Kennedy Forum
- Peer Supports Workgroup
Co-liaisons: Eric Scharf, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance; David Koss, Smart Recovery
- Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services Workgroup
Co-liaisons: Jen Snow, National Alliance on Mental Illness; Joanna Rosen, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Child, Adolescent and Education Workgroup
Co- liaisons: Kenneth Polishchuk, American Psychological Association; Rebecca Murdock, National Association of School Psychologists; Liz Murphy, Sandy Hook Promise; Caren Howard, Mental Health America
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup
Co-liaisons: Preston Mitchum, Trevor Project; Maddie Schumacher, Eating Disorders Coalition
- Workforce Workgroup:.
Liaison: Reyna Taylor, National Council for Mental Wellbeing