Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Mental Health legislation - Speak up now!


#1

Congress keeps talking about “reform” but as Debbie Plotnick of Mental Health America said, “you can’t reform what doesn’t exist.” We are at a special moment with several bills in both the Senate & the House, some of which are coming out of committee, that have real changes. Actual funding, not just grants, for mental & behavioral health programs.

This is a great time to raise your voice & tell your legislators you want/demand paid-for mental healthcare. I encourage everyone to call, write, email your Senators and Congress-person. H.R. 2646 just came out of committee and is predicted to go to a full house vote this summer. While not enough (read Joe Kennedy’s take: http://kennedy.house.gov/media/press-releases/kennedy-on-house-mental-health-bill-good-but-not-good-enough) keep telling your legislators you want the care you & your loved one are entitled to be paid for. The Parity act is 8 years old and we are still waiting for $$.

I raise money to pay for care that insurance doesn’t cover… and what I can do is not enough. We need legislation!


#2

Thanks for posting and keeping us up to date on this type of thing.


#3

All I have is time to donate–a lot of my money goes for care for my son.
You can bet I will be donating a LOT of time on this–


#4

That’s awesome… it really shouldn’t take too much time to contact your legislators - a few phone calls or emails. I have been coached that signing form-letter emails is not as powerful as personal ones. So if you do have the time, include some of your personal story, i.e. why this issue is important to you (which is clearly your son!). You can use the same email for everyone if you want.

Usually your state or town will have a place on their website to find out who your legislators are if you don’t already know & contact information for their local & DC offices.

Here’s a good list of bills I found from a Suicide prevention group (the bills are about general mental health, severe mental illness, opiod crisis, pretty much everything): https://afsp.org/our-work/advocacy/action-center/#/bills. Hope this info makes it quicker & easier for you to SpeakUp :slight_smile:


#5

Oh yeah-thanks!:+1:


#6

This just came through my email - a handy link to find your Senators & Congress-person: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials


#7

Thanks!!..


#8

Hopefully everyone heard that HR 2646 passed in the House 422-2. That’s an amazing amount of bipartisan support. Of course, it’s really not enough for at least 2 reasons.

1 - seems like the Senate is now locked in a debate that might kill their bill & we need both sides of Congress. http://www.benefitspro.com/2016/07/18/mental-health-bill-in-jeopardy

2 - The bill was already pretty watered down and there’s so much more to do: https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/lindas-corner-office/2016/07/helping-families-mental-health-crisis-act-good-start/

However, keeping the pressure on our representatives is something we all can do. Information on contacting your senator is here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. It can only help to keep telling EVERYONE that we need funding for mental healthcare for severe mental illness.