National groups urge House to pass mental health reforms
Recipients include House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The U.S. is experiencing an ongoing mental health crisis. The current American suicide rate stands at its highest in the last 30 years. Each year, more than 40,000 people commit suicide.
“Congress has worked across the aisle and in collaboration with the mental health community to find promising solutions to improve our nation’s mental health care,” the letter stated. “As you are both aware, but the significance is noteworthy — H.R. 2646 passed unanimously out of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Today, it represents the culmination of bipartisan work to forge a foundation for enhancing mental health services and supports.”
In addition, millions of U.S. citizens live without any of the mental health supports and services they need. Without these supports and services, many families cannot find the care that their loved ones need. Many of these individuals become homeless, develop disabilities and suffer incarceration; with the proper care, they could experience recovery and fulfilling lives.
“H.R. 2646 helps address our severe workforce shortage, promotes integrated service delivery, early identification and intervention, and provides the full range of Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) services to children receiving inpatient psychiatric hospital services in settings allowable under the Psych Under-21 benefit,” the letter stated. “In addition, the bill also supports suicide prevention and peer support services, clarifies and provides training regarding communications under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), affords liability protections for volunteer health professionals, strengthens crisis services and provides greater clarity on mental health parity.”
Signing groups include the American Art Therapy Association, American Group Psychotherapy Association and Eating Disorders Coalition, among others.