Passage of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646)
On July 6th, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646). The American Psychiatric Association along with other organizations, worked with the House to ensure this bill would pass through the House advocating for improved mental health services for our country.
The bill calls for restructuring of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to bring more accountability and focus on standards that are based on the best available scientific evidence. Moreover, it will work to provide more psychiatric beds, improve collaboration between mental health providers and primary care doctors, and will increase funding to research to better understand psychiatric conditions.
Another important piece of this bill are the measures that it puts in place to ensure that there is better enforcement of "mental health parity". Mental health parity ensures that insurance companies pay equally for mental health and physical health services.
The passage of this bill is a good step in the direction of improving the mental health services available in our country and our communities.