Alexandria, VA—Mental Health America (MHA) applauds the members of the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 2646, The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015.
“Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are to be commended for making mental health reform a priority this session,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America. “MHA thanks Representatives Fred Upton and Frank Pallone and Representatives Joe Pitts and Gene Green for their leadership in engaging the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Health Subcommittee in building a strong bipartisan bill.
“MHA recognizes Representatives Tim Murphy's and Eddie Bernice Johnson’s tireless efforts to find policy consensus and make sure that mental health reform happened this session. MHA thanks all of the members of the Energy and Commerce Committee that worked together to make sure that the bill begins to address a number of priority issues. MHA knows that mental health is personal to every family and every community, and appreciates all of those Members who shared their stories and helped to make this happen.”
There are several provisions that have come from the bipartisan collaboration in the House, which MHA strongly supports for inclusion in the final legislation, including:
- Elevation of mental health in the Federal government;
- Support for innovation, both through SAMHSA and CMS;
- Funding to support the growth of the peer support specialist workforce;
- Interagency planning to reduce incarceration of individuals with mental health conditions;
- Focus on early intervention and screening in primary care; and
- Medicaid provisions that make sure that children in inpatient mental health settings have access to the services they need to be healthy.
“MHA urges the Senate leadership to act quickly to get a strong mental health bill to the President’s desk,” concluded Gionfriddo.