APA Commends House Committee for Passage of Comprehensive Mental Health Reform, Urges Full House to Take Up Bill

ARLINGTON, Va. – Today the American Psychiatric Association issued the following statement from its president, Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., following passage of bipartisan mental health reform legislation, H.R. 2646, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act in the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

“We commend the House Energy and Commerce Committee for passage of H.R. 2646,” said APA President Maria A Oquendo, M.D. “Today’s vote is a major step in the long journey to reform our nation’s broken mental health system. We now urge the full House to take up and pass this bipartisan legislation. The nation’s mental health system needs reform—too many people with mental illness, including substance use disorders, are not getting the care they need. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act is critical to beginning the needed improvements. It will help increase access to care by strengthening enforcement of the mental health parity law and addressing psychiatric workforce shortages, improve research and treatment for people with mental illness, and more effectively coordinate federal resources. We strongly urge House members to approve this legislation that will make mental health care more available to those who need it.”

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose 36,500 physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders.

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