By Caren Howard, MHA Advocacy Manager and Debbie Plotnick, MHA Vice President of Mental Health Systems and Advocacy
Under current law, complex patient consent requirements make it difficult or impossible for patients and providers in health care settings to share data related to substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring physical and behavioral health conditions.
The House is ready to move on opioid legislation, and MHA asks for your help in making sure that H.R. 6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act, which would integrate care, is part of the final package.
Mental Health America asks for your help in making sure that with consent, complete information may be shared, and that protections against inappropriate information sharing are increased.
With your voice, we can break down one of the remaining barriers to integrated treatment. After all, as Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of MHA reminds us, "you can’t treat a whole person with half a record."
Take action now to help continue this fight!
How can I help?
If you have one minute, take one action, and if you have five minutes, take them all:
- Tweet your elected officials! Copy and paste the following and make sure you tweet at your correct legislator:
"@[member of Congress] As your constituent, I urge you to vote for the inclusion of #HR6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety #OPPS Act, in a final opioid package. #ActB4Stage4"
- Call your member's office or the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Press #2. Then enter your zip code.
- Write to your member of Congress using Facebook's Town Hall feature. If this feature is available in your area, make sure your Constituent Badge is on. Many legislators will not read the comments of individuals who are not marked as one of their constituents.
- Meet with your elected officials. Let them know that mental health in important to you, and that you are not just a number.
Not sure what to say? Here's a script for you to use:
"As a constituent, I urge you to vote for the inclusion of H.R. 6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act, in a final opioid package. We need to update this law for the advancing world of health care, allow for integrated care that treats substance use like any other condition, and give people the option to have effective and streamlined treatment."
Let your elected officials know where you stand with mental health in mind.