HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015, House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passed.
Positives of legislation:
- Screening and early intervention;
- Community-based systems of care;
- Enhancing the behavioral health workforce;
- Innovation to develop new evidence-based programs;
- Integration of health and behavioral health care;
- Enforcement of parity in coverage between health and behavioral health services;
- Incentives for Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) rather than mandates;
- Elevation of behavioral health in the federal government, including increased coordination of services; and
- Suicide prevention based on the Garrett Lee Smith Act Reauthorization.
- Provisions that best support the development of a properly-credentialed peer workforce that can work competitively in clinical settings;
- Preservation of Protection and Advocacy organizations’ flexibility to promote recovery and non-discrimination for individuals with serious mental illness, not only to prevent abuse and neglect;
- Funding for community mental health programs with money taken from the jail and prison system, not from other health services; and
- Assurance that individuals with serious mental illness will be able to voluntarily access to the services associated with AOT, and that community-based services will be adequately funded.
American Psychiatric Association (APA), Mental Health America (MHA) endorse HR 2646.