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The “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act”

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at June 18, 2015

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing yesterday on landmark legislation that would reform the U.S. mental health system.

The bill, HR 2646 (Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act), is cosponsored by U.S. Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas). It builds on previous legislation put forward by both representatives.

Notably, the bill creates the position of Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, who must be a psychiatrist or Ph.D. clinical psychologist, within the Department of Health and Human Services to elevate the importance of mental health in that agency, coordinate mental health and related programs across different agencies, promote effective evidence-based programs, and ensure compliance with the mental health parity law.

Rep. Murphy has demonstrated strong leadership in this arena and should be supported and applauded for his efforts.

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