WASHINGTON, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The full Senate is expected to consider mental health legislation, including The Excellence in Mental Health Act, next week. The legislation, introduced in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, would allow up to 1.5 million more Americans living with behavioral health needs, including 200,000 returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, get the care they require.
After decades of budget cuts, the essential safety net of services provided by community mental health and addiction providers is severely weakened. The Excellence Act would restore a steady funding stream for community behavioral health centers - $1.4 billion in Medicaid funding over 10 years. These services would be aimed at uninsured and low-income Americans with the most serious and persistent mental health conditions. The National Council is diligently working with the bi-partisan group of Senate sponsors and supporters to ensure passage of the Excellence in Mental Health Act.
"As Congress prepares to debate the gun legislation, there is another national crisis that must be addressed by policymakers. Repeated cuts to mental health budgets have jeopardized the health of the nation. Today, our nation's community mental health centers are simply stretched too thin and struggling to provide essential services," said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Healthcare.
"A bi-partisan group of Senators has developed legislation that addresses this problem in a comprehensive way - the Excellence in Mental Health Act. The time is right to make a meaningful national commitment to mental health services. I believe it is possible to make a real difference - right now - and I believe we have a path before us that will do just that. I hope every Senator will vote in favor of comprehensive mental health legislation next week," said Rosenberg.
"Let me add that I am extremely disappointed that the White House has not embraced the Excellence Act, which would increase access and early intervention in communities around the country. It is time for real solutions. It is time to restore the nation's safety net when it comes to mental health treatment. We cannot wait any longer."
The bill is co-sponsored by a bipartisan team of Senators including Debbie Stabenow, Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Chris Coons (D-DE).
To arrange media interviews with Linda Rosenberg or Chuck Ingoglia of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, please contact: Kirk Monroe email@example.com or via phone at 202-207-3646
The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is the unifying voice of America's community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with our 2,000 member organizations, we serve our nation's most vulnerable citizens — the more than 8 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained nearly 100,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. Learn more atwww.TheNationalCouncil.org.
SOURCE National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
- Mental Health
- community mental health