Navigation Links
New Legislation Seeks to Improve Access to Community Mental Healthcare

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- The nation's mental health system was revitalized with the introduction of landmark legislation in the U.S. Senate yesterday to provide new resources and support for community-based care.

Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) introduced S. 2182, the Community Mental Health Services Improvement Act.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, which championed the legislation, commends Senators Reed and Smith for their leadership in addressing the mental health needs of the American people. The National Council is the nation's association of community behavioral healthcare organizations and works to ensure that all those who have a mental illness can get effective and comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation in their communities.

"The introduction of this legislation in the Senate is an important milestone in helping the nation's community mental health system meet America's most pressing healthcare challenges today," said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council.

Mental illness in America is more common than cancer, diabetes, or even heart disease. Nearly 60 million people --- one in four adults and one in five children --- have a mental illness that can be diagnosed and treated. Yet the community mental health system --- the only point of care for a majority of people with mental illness --- has been chronically under-funded for many years and struggles to meet basic health needs in the face of low reimbursement rates, shrinking budgets, and workforce shortages.

"Mental illness is just as deadly and serious as a physical illness," said Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR). "While effective treatment exists for most people, access to care continues to be a challenge. A federal commitment is needed to ensure care is available when and where it is needed."

Among its main provisions, S. 2182 calls for funding to allow community mental health organizations to provide comprehensive primary care and specialty mental health services in the same setting.

"Only 32 percent of the nation's community mental health providers are able to afford the resources and staff they need to provide onsite medical treatment for hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and other medical conditions, according to a National Council survey," said Charles Ingoglia, the National Council's Vice President, Public Policy. "But it's ironic to address mental illnesses and let patients die from unattended medical conditions! We must treat the whole person and provide integrated mental and physical healthcare where it is easiest for patients to access."

The Community Mental Health Services Improvement Act also provides for innovative programs to address workforce needs in designated mental health professional shortage areas. The act calls for loan forgiveness and repayment as well as expanded education and training to support the recruitment and retention of qualified mental health workers, especially for racial and ethnic minorities.

"Mental health is hardly a lucrative profession. Years of inadequate funding for compensation and training programs have perpetrated a behavioral health workforce crisis!" said Linda Rosenberg. "It's a crisis we must resolve now if we are to continue to provide quality mental healthcare. We must be able to provide robust education programs and pay competitive salaries to attract and keep a skilled workforce. The Community Mental Health Services Improvement Act will go a long way to help," she noted.

S. 2182 also provides for grants to integrate treatment for individuals with a serious mental illness and co-occurring addiction disorders; to help the community mental health system improve information technology; and to establish facilities for tele-psychiatry and patient education in rural and other medically underserved areas.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) association representing 1,300 mental health and addictions treatment and rehabilitation organizations that serve nearly six million adults, children, and families in communities across America. Learn more at

SOURCE National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Doctors Seek Legislation To Protect Them
2. Spanish legislation Vote For Equality of sexes
3. China Issues New Legislation To Ban Human Organ Trade
4. Africa: Traditional Knowledge of Medicine Needs To Be Protected With Due Legislation
5. Legislation to Prevent Discrimination against HIV/AIDS Victims
6. Smartcard Legislation Fails The Privacy Test - AMA
7. AMA Urges Government To Amend Aged Care Legislation
8. US Lawmakers Considering Legislation to Restrict Payments by Drug Companies to Doctors
9. Consumer group seeks Sibutramine ban
10. Gujarat Seeks To Scale Down Infant Mortality Rate
11. Europe Seeks Indian Expertise
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... According to an article published November 6th by The Telegraph, ... British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets may not actually decrease ... reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets have certainly prevented a great ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 27, 2015 , ... "When I was traveling, I was ... N.J. "Many people catch diseases simply from sitting on such dirty toilet seats. ... from germs." , He developed the patent-pending QUDRATECS to eliminate the need to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs ... will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD ... Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography ... CAAHEP accredited colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities in the state ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... abuse located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share ... video, available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... PUNE, India , November ... --> ... / personal emergency response system ... grow steadily for 5 years ... growing region expected to see ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... WILMINGTON, North Carolina , 26 november ... Laboratories, Inc. (AAIPharma/CML) kondigt de geplande investering ... de uitbreiding van de laboratoria en het ... . De uitbreiding zal resulteren in ... waarmee wordt voldaan aan de groeiende behoeften ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nederland, November 26, 2015 ... Een nieuwe aanpak combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische ... ) --> ...      (Photo: ) ... Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) blijkt ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: