Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) provides advocacy assistance to individuals with significant mental illness or emotional impairment. PAIMI authorizes P&As to:
- Investigate abuse and neglect and rights violations in public and private facilities and community settings.
- Oversee the effectiveness of state agencies that license and regulate these programs.
- Ensure access to community-based services and supports.
PAIMI funds vital advocacy for people with mental health disabilities to access education, employment, housing and other critical supports to live and be self-sufficient in their communities, and be free from abuse and neglect.
In FY 2004, PAIMI was funded at $35 million, and after years of struggle, cuts and minor increases, funding has increased only slightly, to $36 million in FY 2019 and has been level funded since. When inflation is taken into consideration, this is not an increase but instead, a cut. PAIMI program funding is administered by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
We urge Congress to increase funds for mental health advocacy as it is sorely needed for P&As to carry out their mission on behalf of PAIMI-eligible clients.