The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 is a bill recently created by United States Senate that makes great strides to strengthen the mental health system. The bill has not yet been voted on by Senate, but will hopefully get the chance to go to vote in fall 2016.
Here are some of the key changes the bill would make to benefit the mental health field:
- The bill helps combat suicide in schools and communities by authorizing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline program and extending the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act that provides suicide prevention for all ages and creates a national suicide technical assistance center.
- The bill increases the mental health workforce so more trained professionals are available.
- The bill strengthens community crisis response systems so that individuals going through a psychiatric crisis can get help before their situation worsens.
Because the bill is sitting in Senate awaiting vote, many mental health organizations are making a push to get people to contact their Senators to ask them to bring the bill to Senate floor and to vote in favor of the bill. If you’re interested in taking action, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has created a page on their website that breaks down how to email, tweet, and call your Senator to express support in the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.
For more information on this bill, NAMI also has more available on their website.
Do you think the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 would benefit you? If so, in what ways?