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Congress must fully fund specialized mental health crisis services. FY23 funding should include significant resources for specialized services for BIPOC communities, as well as LGBTQ populations receiving crisis services through 988. Congress must support additional investment in this area through the FY 2023 appropriations bills because these populations are presently at the highest risk of experiencing suicidal ideation in the U.S.
Act now to address discrimination and improve the quality of hospital care for people with mental health conditions. Did you know that psychiatric facilities aren't held accountable for how people with lived experience are treated? For the first time, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) has issued a request for information seeking input on people's experiences in psychiatric facilities — both in general hospitals and psychiatric facilities. AHRQ is looking to address the gaps in gathering patient experience information from people with mental health conditions receiving care in an inpatient setting.
The Senate must act now to pass these key bills that will help schools protect youth mental health. As our nation grapples with compounding crises during a public health emergency, young people have spoken out about the lack of critical mental health supports available to them to manage increased stress, trauma, loss, and isolation. The Senate must act.
Tell your Senators today to make mental health and addiction parity a reality in the Build Back Better Act! Health plans continue to violate the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which prohibits health insurance discrimination against mental health and addiction coverage. Yet, the U.S. Department of Labor, which enforces parity for over 100 million Americans, cannot fine plans for violations. To deter parity violations before they occur, the Department of Labor must be allowed to hold plans accountable.
Tell your legislators to support the Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act. The Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act, written following the release of the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health report, Ring The Alarm, would authorize $805 million in grants and other funding to support research, improving the pipeline of culturally humble providers, building outreach programs that reduce stigma, and developing training programs for providers to effectively manage bias and reduce disparities in access to and delivery of mental health care for Black and brown youth.
Ask your representative to co-sponsor the PEERS in Medicare Act of 2021. H.R. 2767, the Promoting Effective and Empowering Recovery Services (PEERS) in Medicare Act of 2021, was introduced in the House of Representatives to promote the use of peer support specialists as part of integrated care in Medicare. More specifically, the bill would recognize certified peer specialists for the first time in Medicare and would ensure reimbursement of support and services provided by peer specialists as part of coordinated care teams that work together to provide the best mental and physical health care for an individual based on their unique needs.
Tell your legislators to support the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, which includes the Moms Matter Act, a maternal mental health equity bill to provide for quality screening, treatment, support, and research of Black mothers with mental health needs. Congress can and should make it easier for moms and babies to access support and care early on when it matters most.
Tell Congress to Support S.660/H.R. 2264, the Tele-Mental Health Improvement Act. The Federal government facilitated improved access to mental health care during the pandemic, especially tele-mental health care in Medicaid and Medicare. However, issues remain in accessing and covering these services for people who do not have access to broadband or smartphones. We must support S.660/H.R. 2264, the Tele-Mental Health Improvement Act, a bill to require employer-sponsored health care plans to cover tele-behavioral health care services at the same pay rate as those services provided in-person.
Tell the Senate to Pass Changes That Increase Funding and Access to Mental Health Services in the next COVID-19 Package. Additional funding for mental health and substance use services will help states and local governments provide services as many states face budget shortfalls and plan to instead cut funding from mental health accounts. Expanded coverage of telemental health services has allowed people with mental health conditions to stay in treatment or get into treatment at a time when it is unsafe to meet in person. To help keep safety net Medicaid providers afloat, many of which have seen drastic increases in demand for services, an increase in federal matching funds (FMAP) for Medicaid is needed. And, activation of Medicaid for individuals coming out of justice system settings helps many overcome the major hurdle of paying for treatment as they manage reintegrating into the community. The first 60 days back into the community is the highest risk period for many justice involved individuals and often times having access to health care is the difference between life and death.