Thursday, April 3, 2014

HAPPENING TODAY: Experts, Family Members, Clinicians to Testify on Need for H.R. 3717 at Legislative Hearing

Committee Takes Up Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Contact: Brad Grantz202.225.2301

(WASHINGTON, DC) – On Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 10:30AM, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will convene a legislative hearing on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717). The bill is the culmination of a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system by Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal editorial board for the second time weighed in on H.R. 3717, praising the bill for “reorganiz[ing] government to make it more effective and accountable” and delivering evidence-based medical care to those most in need of it: persons with serious mental illness like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The WSJ editors criticized existing federal efforts, writing that “SAMHSA is in the vanguard of the legal-advocacy and anti-psychiatry movement that sprang to life in the 1980s, and it continues to waste taxpayer dollars on programs that undercut efforts to help the world's Adam Lanzas.” Read the full editorial here. Murphy’s bill makes significant reforms to federal policies and SAMHSA programs to ensure resources are reallocated to those most in need of care can receive it in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Tomorrow morning at 8:30AM, Rep. Murphy will preview the hearing during C-SPAN’s Washington Journal call-in show.

Witnesses for tomorrow’s hearing include Dr. Michael Welner, the country’s preeminent forensic psychiatrist. Welner has personally interviewed defendants with mental illness, worked on the cases of many of the country's most heinous crimes, and other matters that illustrate gaps in national mental health care, including suicides, abuse, and patient rights.
WHAT:                      Legislative Hearing on The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act
WHO:                         Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)

WITNESSES:            Michael Welner, M.D., forensic psychiatrist, Founder/Chairman of the Forensic Panel
                                    Sylvia Thompson, patient advocate, President of National Alliance on Mental Illness of Westside Los Angeles
                                    Mary Zdanowicz, mental health attorney
                                    David Shern, Ph.D., interim President/CEO, Mental Health America
Nancy Jensen, Person with Lived Experience, Disability Rights Center of Kansas

WHEN:                      Thursday, April 2, 2014
10:30 AM

LOCATION:             Rayburn House Office Building
Room 2322
Washington, DC 20515

CONTACT:              Brad Grantz,

Background on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act:
Dr. Murphy, a clinical psychologist with thirty years experience, authored the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717) following a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system. Nationwide support for his legislation to grow fromnewspaper editorsphysiciansand parents of children with mental illness. Additional information on the hearing can be found here.

Two major components of the Murphy bill were adopted by the House of Representatives last week, and signed into law on Monday.
MurphyPress | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
2332 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC  20515
(202) 225-2301 | (202) 225-1844

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