From the American Psychological Association:
Please contact your Congressional Representatives
Urge them to support Bipartisan Mental Health Reform Legislation (H.R.2646 and S. 2680)
Following every horrific mass killing in our schools, theaters and other locations, the conversation inevitably returns to the paucity of adequate mental health services in America today. That is why I am writing today to ask you to reach out to your elected congressional representatives (see below).
Mental disorders affect more than 40 million Americans each year — including roughly 10 million Americans with serious mental illnesses — and these disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
Sadly, there are major gaps in the U.S. mental health treatment system:
- Only 1 in 3 Americans with a mental disorder receive minimally adequate treatment, and nearly 60 percent don’t receive any treatment from a mental health specialist.
- The proportion of all health care spending devoted to mental health and substance abuse treatment is 28 percent smaller today than it was in 1986. State government spending comprises only about half as big a share of such spending as it did then.
- After first onset of a mental disorder, the median delay before first treatment contact is nearly a decade.
- Individuals with serious mental illness are much more likely to be in a jail or prison than in a mental health facility.
- As the Senate returns to session this week, we need to keep the drumbeat of pressure on Senators to enact mental health reform. Time is running out! There are relatively few business days remaining before Congress breaks for the November election, and when Senators return in December it will be too late!
- Read the Bipartisan Mental Health Reform Legislation Fact Sheet
- If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to contact your Senators to urge them to ask leadership to take up mental health reform legislation now. The House has already done its work, overwhelmingly passing the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016” (H.R. 2646). The Senate must not leave without passing mental health reform, which could provide critical support for the 40 million Americans affected by mental disorders.
- Click for a link to the letter
- Thank you for your great work! Your efforts will help provide needed pressure to bring this comprehensive mental health reform bill to the Senate floor for a vote.