Wednesday, September 9, 2015

ICYMI: Murphy’s HR 2646 ‘Most Substantive’ Crisis Mental Health Legislation

For Immediate Release: September 9, 2015
Contact: Gretchen Andersen, 202.225.2301
(Washington D.C.) – In the aftermath of the tragedies in Roanoke, Virginia and Houston, Texas, the nation’s attention has once again turned to gaps in our broken mental health system and Congressman Tim Murphy’s legislative solution, the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, H.R. 2646. From radio editorials to guest columns and local television station stories, Americans are calling on Congress to make the bill a priority now that lawmakers have returned from August recess. 
With 105 co-sponsors, H.R. 2646 has been endorsed by national organizations including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Treatment Advocacy Center, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association. Nationwide support for the legislation has come from newspaper editors, physicians, and parents of children with mental illness. More information can be found here. 
Mass killings could revive bill on mental health reformPaige Winfield Cunningham
September 8, 2015
Murphy's bill aims to improve the situation by providing additional psychiatric hospital beds for those experiencing mental health crises and need a place to stay where they get treatment and can't do harm to themselves or others. It provides states with extra mental health funding if they run high-quality assisted outpatient treatment programs, which allow a judge to order a severely mentally ill person to receive treatment even if he or she is unable or refuses to give consent. -- Paige Cunningham, Washington Examiner
Across much of US, a serious shortage of psychiatristsDavid Crary
September 8, 2015

"We simply don't have enough people who are professionally trained," said Rep. Tim Murphy, a Pennsylvania Republican who remains active as a psychologist and is lead sponsor of the House bill. His measure would, among other steps, help child psychiatrists pay off their student loans and promote wider use of telepsychiatry. -- David Crary, Associated Press
KDKA Urges Congress To Pass Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act 
Michael Young
August 31, 2015 
Congressman Tim Murphy sees the attack and Flanagan’s subsequent suicide as another example of a failed mental health system. murphy is frustrated that Congress doesn’t feel the same urgency and a sense of guilt, every time there is another tragedy like this one. He’s introduced his Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act twice, and it is still stuck in committee. Congress needs to get off their collective keister and approve H.R. 2646. --Michael Young, KDKA
Murphy Touts Mental Health Bill on Cleveland VisitJulie Miller
September 4, 2015
Murphy noted that H.R. 2646 aims to create a new Office of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders that would be responsible for getting more out of federal spending on behavioral health. For example, he said, the federal government spends $130 billion on mental health today—mostly on disability payments—meanwhile, its funding is allocated to seemingly bizarre programs that aren’t being tracked for effectiveness, such as fruit smoothies and sing alongs. -- Julie Miller, Behavioral Healthcare
Mental health advocates see momentum for reform after deadly summerBrianna Ehley
September 3, 2015 
“I don’t know why it’s taking so long but I sure as hell am not going to stop pushing,” Rep. Tim Murphy said. “These [shootings] are happening so frequently now that it’s gotten to the point where members of Congress can’t ignore it anymore.” The action is likely to start in the House, where Energy and Commerce staff has been working on Murphy’s bill over the summer. -- Brianna Ehley, Politico Pro
Mental Health Care Reform Requires Families to Speak UpRachel Pruchno September 4, 2015 

The bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, HR2646, introduced in June by Rep. Tim Murphy and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, is the most substantive piece of legislation. It proposes to resolve many problems within our mental health care system and will  improve  treatment of people with  SMI. These changes will significantly reduce homelessness, incarcerations, and death among people with SMI. -- Rachel Pruchno, Psychology Today
Privacy Issues Complicate Mental Health Overhaul Melissa Attias
September 4, 2015

The House effort (HR 2646) is intended to reward states that allow courts to order some people with conditions such as paranoid schizophrenia into community treatment — a tool that supporters say is critical to avert costly hospitalizations, jail time and homelessness. While the details vary by state, the practice is typically limited to adults who a judge decides, based on their track record, are unlikely to voluntarily follow the treatment they need to live safely in a community. -- Melissa Attias, CQ
In his seventh term representing Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district encompassing suburban Pittsburgh including parts of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Greene Counties, Rep. Tim Murphy also serves as a Commander in the Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps as a psychologist treating Wounded Warriors with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
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