Urgent action: Help pass mental health reform!

09.01.16

Please call your senators ASAP! Find your senators here, and urge them to pass the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.

Background

In April, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted unanimously to advance S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. This fall, Congress will have the chance to bring this legislation to a floor vote and finally make meaningful improvements to our mental health care system. This legislation will strengthen federal coordination of mental health resources, increase reporting on mental health parity, advance integrated service delivery, support the mental health workforce and increase early access to mental health services.

Mental illness is widely prevalent in the United States. More than 68 million Americans have experienced mental illness in the past year—about 20% of the U.S. population. Estimates of the prevalence of mental illness among people without homes far exceed that number. As the Health Care for the Homeless community knows well, people with mental illnesses are often unable to access or receive appropriate services and supports, face greater challenges to gaining housing and are constantly challenged by fragmented mental health service delivery systems.

Action

Between Monday, August 29, and Friday, September 2, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council is joining a coordinated advocacy campaign with many national advocacy groups to urge senators to take up and pass S. 2680. Please join this effort by calling your senators and urging them to vote “yes” on this bill.

Call your senators and ask them to support S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, and bring it to a floor vote this session. (Don’t know your senators? Find them here.)

Tell them many individuals with mental health conditions are unable to access or receive the appropriate services and supports for these illnesses.

Tell them about the connection between homelessness and mental health conditions.

Calling only takes a few minutes. If senators’ offices get a lot of calls, they know that this is an important issue they should be addressing. Let’s not allow mental health to be ignored any longer as a national crisis.

Impact

Passing legislation that improves mental health care will directly benefit Health Care for the Homeless projects and the vulnerable people they serve. 

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