WASHINGTON – After the U.S. House of Representatives passed comprehensive mental health reform by a vote of 422 to 2 on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), co-authors of the Mental Health Reform Act and members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, called on the Senate to immediately vote on their comprehensive, bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act. The bill, which would address the country’s mental health crisis and help ensure Americans suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders receive the care they need, passed the Senate HELP Committee earlier this year.
“The House took an important step today to expand treatment and prevention programs for the 44 million Americans battling mental illness," said Murphy and Cassidy. “The bill voted on today isn’t perfect, but the fact that it passed overwhelmingly is proof that there is broad, bipartisan support for fixing our broken mental health system. We have been partners in this effort since day one, and with our Mental Health Reform Act ready for a vote, we urge Senate leaders to take action and make this issue a priority before the 114th Congress comes to an end.”
The bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act will expand federal resources and improve coordination for mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. After holding more than a dozen roundtables with mental health professionals, policy experts, consumers, and family members, Murphy and Cassidy introduced the bill with U.S. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.).