image description

Congressmen Trone and Kennedy introduce Legislation to Better Coordinate Federal Mental Health Efforts

July 23rd, 2020 by WCBC Radio

This week, U.S. Congressman David Trone (MD-06) worked with Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) to introduce two legislative efforts aimed at ensuring mental and behavioral health care are accessible to everyone across the United States.

The two efforts included a resolution calling for universal mental health care and legislation to improve access to care and strengthen the federal government’s approach to behavioral health. 

"Mental health was a crisis in this country before the pandemic, and COVID-19 is making matters much worse. Solving this issue will require a thoughtful, coordinated approach," said Congressman Trone. “The two actions we took this week are the type of bold, transformative policy we need to ensure that every single person in this country can get the substance use disorder treatment and mental and behavioral health care they need. I want to thank Congressman Kennedy for his continued leadership and partnership on this important issue."

Universal Mental Health Care

Trone and Kennedy introduced a resolution for universal mental health care, which outlines the disjointed federal response to the mental health and substance use disorder crisis as well as the urgent policies needed to combat it. The resolution demands an immediate, historic investment in the health system that focuses specifically on addressing behavioral health conditions. 

The resolution is also co-led by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congressman Paul Tonko, and Congressman Tony Cárdenas. You can read the resolution here

The resolution has earned the support of the following organizations: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Art Therapy Association, American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work, American Association on Health and Disability, American Counseling Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Group Psychotherapy Association, American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Psychological Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare, The Bazelon Center, Behavioral Health Association of Providers, Campaign for Youth Justice, Clinical Social Work Association, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Faces and Voices of Recovery, Families USA, Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice, International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium, The Kennedy Forum, Lakeshore Foundation, Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance, NAADAC – the Association for Addiction Professionals, National Alliance for Mental Illness, National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health, National Association for Behavioral Healthcare, National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, National Association of Social Workers, National Council on Aging, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Partnership to End Addiction , Policy & Action, Postpartum Support International, The Reclaimed Hope Initiative, Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, SMART Recovery, Treatment Communities of America, and Well Being Trust.

Coordinating Federal Mental Health Efforts

Trone and Kennedy introduced the Behavioral Health Coordination and Communication Act to improve access to care and strengthen the federal government’s approach to behavioral health. In addition to creating a new Interagency Coordinator to oversee all federal behavioral health efforts, the legislation would mandate reports and proposals to identify systemic gaps and study the potential incorporation of mental health and substance use disorder screenings as a vital sign. 

The Behavioral Health Coordination and Communication Act is also co-led by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congressman Tony Cárdenas, and Congressman Paul Tonko.

“We cannot enact the systemic reform our behavioral health system desperately needs if we fail to invest in the full continuum of care,” said Congressman Kennedy. “From seniors to students to veterans to incarcerated people to patients of all ages, races and backgrounds, we need to coordinate our efforts across our federal government or else people will continue to fall through the cracks of a broken system. With the Behavioral Health Coordination and Communication Act, we can begin to build a universal mental health care system.”

In Congress, Congressman Trone has made investing in and reforming the nation’s mental health system a top priority. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he urged Congressional Leadership to prioritize youth mental health, held a webinar on mental health, and hosted a conversation on mental health with Congressman Joe Kennedy. Last year, he introduced the bipartisan Higher Education Mental Health Act and held a roundtable with first responders to discuss the urgent need for mental health care for those on the front lines, which resulted in two pieces of legislation introduced by Trone to encourage mental health support and support first responders suffering from job-related trauma. He has also pushed for mental health care for incarcerated individuals, introducing a bipartisan bill in February that would support mental health treatment for those in prison and returning to society. Additionally, Trone’s Freshmen Working Group on Addiction has supported dozens of mental health bills related to addiction.

One Response to “Congressmen Trone and Kennedy introduce Legislation to Better Coordinate Federal Mental Health Efforts”

  1. July 23, 2020 at 2:32 pm, Bob said:

    Look at all this; and we are not even officially socialist yet!

    Reply

Leave a Reply



View Mobile Site