Rep. Tim Murphy, a psychologist by training, is leading the charge for significant reforms to our broken public mental illness treatment system and needs your support.
The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717) has the potential to reshape our mental health system. This landmark legislation is an essential first step in improving treatment for individuals with severe mental illness.
The problems the bill addresses are not Democratic or Republican problems but rather everybody’s problems. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act proposes a number of solutions including:
- Requiring states to authorize assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) in order to receive Community Mental Health Service Block Grant funds.
- Allocating $15 million for a federal assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) block grant program funding up to 50 grants per year for new, local AOT programs.
- Carving out an exemption in HIPAA that permits a “caregiver” to receive protected health information when a mental health care provider reasonably believes disclosure to the caregiver is necessary to protect the health, safety or welfare of the patient or the safety of another. (The definition of “caregiver” includes immediate family members.)
- Establishing a new National Mental Health Policy Laboratory in the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Preventing federally funded “Protection and Advocacy” organizations from engaging in lobbying activities and counseling individuals on “refusing medical treatment or acting against wishes of a caregiver.”
- Requiring the U.S. comptroller general to submit a report to Congress detailing the costs to the federal and state government of imprisoning people with severe mental illness.
- Increases Congressional oversight of SAMHSA programs and seeks improvements to the programs it supports.
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY
Please call and/or email and let your congressman know you support the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717) and ask him or her to co-sponsor the bill.
Click here to find your Congressman’s contact information.
Below is a sample letter. Be sure to add your own personal story.
Dear Rep. _________:
I am writing to urge you in support of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717). This bill takes necessary steps to fix the nation’s broken mental health system by focusing programs and resources on psychiatric care for patients and families most in need of services.
My family [INSERT YOUR PERSONAL STORY]
I am asking you, my representative, to co-sponsor the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717) and take action to fix our broken mental health system.