WASHINGTON, July 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for taking "a major step forward" to improve the lives of Americans living with mental illness.
The House passed H.R.2646, the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act," sponsored by Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) on a voice vote, without objection.
NAMI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Giliberti issued this statement:
"The House has taken a major step forward toward mental health care reform. The bill addresses a broad range of issues and provides an important framework for the future."
"Over the past four years, House members have conducted hearings and immersed themselves in mental health policy like never before. Mental health reform is truly a bipartisan issue."
"One in 5 Americans has a mental health condition. With the right help, people with mental illness can live well and thrive, but at least half do not get care. Seventy-five percent of mental illness begins by age 24. The sooner children and young adults get help, the better the outcomes."
"H.R. 2646 addresses gaps in America's mental health system and accommodates different perspectives on complex issues. It will improve crisis response services, provide grants to track inpatient and residential beds, promote early intervention and suicide prevention and support integration of mental health, substance use and primary care."
"NAMI thanks Reps. Murphy and Johnson for their leadership, as well as House Energy and Commerce Committee chair Fred Upton (R-Mich) and ranking member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). We also thank Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)."
"All eyes are now on the Senate. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) unanimously approved its own bill, which is waiting for a vote of the full Senate. Once the Senate acts, differences between the House and Senate can be reconciled."
"The process needs to move forward as quickly as possible. NAMI will keep working hard to make sure Congress passes a bill this year and sends it to the President for signature."
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
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SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness