Washington Post Calls on Congress to Address Mental Health, Praises Excellence in Mental Health Act

by Rebecca Farley on February 21, 2013

The Washington Post editorial board this week released an editorial calling on Congress to improve the nation’s mental health system. The editorial addresses the stigma and high out-of-pockets costs facing Americans who seek care, along with issues in the financing of mental health services in this country. The paper specifically named the Excellence in Mental Health Act (S. 264) as a remedy for these woes, calling it “a fine plan.” Read the whole editorial here.

The editorial is the latest in a growing surge of support for the Excellence in Mental Health Act, introduced earlier this month by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). It comes in the wake of extensive media coverage of the bill and a remarkable display of bipartisan support (in addition to Stabenow and Blunt, there are 3 Republican and 8 Democratic cosponsors), two rarities in the world of behavioral health advocacy.

Moreover, the latest signs from Congress are that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (or HELP, for short) plans to move a package of behavioral health legislation forward in the coming months – the first time in over 5 years that a bill devoted solely to mental health and addiction treatment would move through the committee process in either chamber of Congress. In this process, the National Council is working hard to advance our two legislative priorities that fall within the HELP Committee’s jurisdiction: the Excellence Act and the Mental Health First Aid Act.

If you have not already done so, please help build congressional support for these two bills by contacting your legislators about the Excellence Act and Mental Health First Aid Act today! Despite the momentum behind behavioral health right now, it remains an uphill battle. Every message from a constituent helps push us forward! Thank you for your support and advocacy. Stay tuned to the Public Policy Update for additional details about these bills.

 

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