Last week, the House overwhelmingly passed the “21st Century Cures Act,” a bill in Congress that includes bipartisan mental health reform, could help those who suffer from addiction and other debilitating diseases, find a cure for Alzheimer’s, end cancer as we know it, and much more. Mental Health Connecticut joins President Obama, Senator Chris Murphy, and many other mental health advocates on both sides of Congress, to call on the Senate to do the same when they vote on this legislation in the next few days.
“This is critically important legislation that will provide Connecticut and every state with the resources we each need to provide relief for millions of individuals with mental health conditions, while investing in research and innovative approaches to health care,” said Luis Perez, Mental Health Connecticut’s President & CEO.
H.R. 34 takes important steps to improve mental health, including provisions that build on the work of the President’s Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force and Senator Chris Murphy’s work as co-author on the Mental Health Reform Act. Among other provisions to invest in research and community support, the bill will help fight the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic by investing $1 billion in overdose prevention and care. Drug overdoses now take more lives every year than traffic accidents and deaths from opioid overdoses have nearly quadrupled since 1999.
Mental Health Connecticut understands that, like all comprehensive legislation, this bill is not perfect. There are provisions that still need to be improved. However, the legislation offers advances in health that far outweigh these concerns. Mental Health Connecticut urges the Senate to promptly pass this bill so that the President can sign it, as promised in his statement last week. (https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/12/03/weekly-address-pass-21st-century-cures-act)