NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NIMH/
National Institute of Mental Health : NIMH Legislative Chronology
1929--P.L. 70-672 established two Federal "narcotics farms" and
authorized a Narcotics Division within PHS.
1930--P.L. 71-357 redesignated the PHS Narcotics Division to the Division of Mental
1939--P.L. 76-19 transferred PHS from the Treasury Department to the Federal
1946--P.L. 79-487, the National Mental Health Act, authorized the Surgeon General
to improve the mental health of U.S. citizens through research into the causes, diagnosis,
and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
1949--NIMH was established April 15.
1953--Reorganization plan #1 assigned PHS to the newly created Department of
Health, Education and Welfare.
1955--P.L. 84-182, the Mental Health Study Act, authorized NIMH to study and make
recommendations on mental health and mental illness in the U.S. The act also authorized
the creation of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health.
1956--P.L. 84-830, the Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act, provided for territorial
treatment facilities for mentally ill individuals in Alaska.
1963--P.L. 88-164, the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health
Centers Construction Act, provided for grants for assistance in the construction of
community mental health centers nationwide.
1965--P.L. 89-105, amendments to P.L. 88-164, provided for grants for the staffing
of community mental health centers.
1966--P.L. 89-793, Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act of 1966, launched a national
program for long-term treatment and rehabilitation of narcotic addicts.
1967--NIMH was separated from NIH and raised to bureau status in PHS--P.L. 90-31,
Mental Health Amendments of 1967.
1968--NIMH became a component of the newly created Health Services and Mental
P.L. 90-574, Alcoholic and Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Amendments of 1968,
authorized funds for the construction and staffing of new facilities for the prevention of
alcoholism and the treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics.
1970--P.L. 92-211, Community Mental Health Centers Amendments of 1970, authorized
construction and staffing of centers for 3 more years, with priority on poverty areas.
P.L. 91-513, Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, expanded the
national drug abuse program by extending the services of federally funded community
treatment centers to nonnarcotic drug abusers as well as addicts.
P.L. 91-616, Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment, and
Rehabilitation Act, provided the resources needed to launch a comprehensive, all-out
attack. Authorized the establishment of a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism within NIMH.
1972--P.L. 92-255, Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act of 1972, provided that a
National Institute on Drug Abuse be established within NIMH.
1973--NIMH rejoined the NIH.
NIMH later became a component of the Alcohol Drug Abuse and Mental Health
1974--P.L. 93-282 authorized the establishment of ADAMHA.
1978--P.L. 95-622, the Community Mental Health Centers Extension Act of 1978.
1979--P.L. 96-88, the Department of Education Organization Act, created the
Department of Education and renamed DHEW the Department of Health and Human Services.
1980--P.L. 96-398, the Mental Health Systems Act, reauthorized the community mental
health centers program.
1981--P.L. 97-35, the Omnibus Reconciliation Act, repealed P.L. 96-398 and
consolidated ADAMHAs treatment and rehabilitation programs into a single block grant
that enabled each State to administer allocated funds.
1983--P.L. 98-24, Alcohol Abuse Amendments of 1983, consolidated the current
authorization for ADAMHA and the institutes into a new title V of the Public Health
1984--P.L. 98-509, Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Amendments,
authorized funding for block grants for fiscal years 1985 through 1987, as well as
extending the authorizations for Federal activities in the areas of alcohol and drug abuse
research, information dissemination, and development of new treatment methods.
1991--P.L. 99-550, PHS act, contained the requirement for State Comprehensive
Mental Health Services Plan.
1992--P.L. 102-321, the ADAMHA Reorganization Act, abolished ADAMHA, created the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and transferred NIMH research
activities to NIH.