Comprehensive Mental Health Reform

APA President Paul Summergrad, MD on Comprehensive Mental Health Reform


H.R. 3717, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

Representative Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), author of comprehensive mental health legislation, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, now before the U.S. House of Representatives. Murphy addressed the APA Assembly on May 4 in New York City during the APA Annual Meeting (video below).  In his heartfelt and well-received speech Murphy urged attendees that “the time is now” to act to improve our mental health system.

“Representative Murphy gave an impassioned and deeply knowledgeable speech to the Assembly of the APA. An experience clinician, his long experience in mental health care resonated strongly with APA members who gave him a rousing response including several standing ovations,” said APA President Paul Summergrad, MD. “The APA is committed to achieving needed legislation to transform mental health care on the basis on the best science and clinical care. We are pleased to work closely with Representative Murphy as well as Representative Barber and others to craft the best bill to benefit the American people.”

The proposed legislation, H.R. 3717, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, takes a comprehensive approach to improving the nation’s mental health system, expanding access to care, and improving coordination of federal mental health programs. Many provisions of the legislation will improve the lives of individuals suffering from severe mental illness, as well as improve physician’s ability to provide coordinated care by allowing same day billing in federally qualified community behavioral health centers. 

In a recent letter to Energy and Commerce Committee leaders on the legislation, APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, MD, MPA said, “It is APA’s hope that lawmakers in both parties, in collaboration with the mental health advocacy community, can move forward with bipartisan comprehensive mental health legislation that significantly and positively reforms our broken public health delivery system.

Rep. Murphy Addresses APA Assembly, May 2014


Additional resources on H.R. 3717:

Comprehensive Mental Health Bill Introduced in House, Psychiatric News, April 25, 2014

APA letter to Representative Murphy upon introduction of H.R. 3717, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

Title by title summary of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

H.R. 4574: Strengthening Mental Health in our Communities Act

In May 2014 Representative Ron Barber (D-AZ) along with Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced the Strengthening Mental Health in our Communities Act, H.R. 4574. The legislation is a comprehensive mental health package that includes several provisions supported by APA including the Behavioral Health IT Extension Act, the Medicare Mental Health Inpatient Equity Act, the Native American Psychiatric and Mental Health Improvement Act, the Ensuring Veterans Resiliency Act, reauthorization of the pediatric subspecialty loan forgiveness program, and provisions related to implementation and enforcement of the bipartisan Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. 

Additional Resources on H.R. 4574

APA letter to Representative Barber on his Strengthening Mental Health in Our Communities Act 

APA summary on the Strengthening Mental Health in our Communities Act