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Legislation – HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015, House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passed

Date : April 04, 2016

Posted By:Cameron Henry

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HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015, House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passed.

Positives of legislation:

  • Screening and early intervention;
  • Community-based systems of care;
  • Enhancing the behavioral health workforce;
  • Innovation to develop new evidence-based programs;
  • Integration of health and behavioral health care;
  • Enforcement of parity in coverage between health and behavioral health services;
  • Incentives for Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) rather than mandates;
  • Elevation of behavioral health in the federal government, including increased coordination of services; and
  • Suicide prevention based on the Garrett Lee Smith Act Reauthorization.

 

Additions needed

  • Provisions that best support the development of a properly-credentialed peer workforce that can work competitively in clinical settings;
  • Preservation of Protection and Advocacy organizations’ flexibility to promote recovery and non-discrimination for individuals with serious mental illness, not only to prevent abuse and neglect;
  • Funding for community mental health programs with money taken from the jail and prison system, not from other health services; and
  • Assurance that individuals with serious mental illness will be able to voluntarily access to the services associated with AOT, and that community-based services will be adequately funded.

American Psychiatric Association (APA), Mental Health America (MHA) endorse HR 2646.

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