- Senate committee members are pressing forward with pushing forward their mental health reform agenda via a draft legislation to address the country's mental health issues.
- The measure, which has bipartisan support, is tentatively titled the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.
- The draft, released Monday, would increase block grants to states to provide mental health services, boost access to mental health and substance abuse disorder care, strengthen mental health services for children and adolescents, and enhance patient care and mental health parity.
Among the provisions to increase access to services are grants for treatment and recovery for homeless individuals and jail diversion programs. The measure also includes a national suicide prevention lifeline program and provisions to help people transition from homelessness.
The measure relies largely on language crafted by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), but will add provisions to address the opioid abuse epidemic currently raging nationwide, the Hartford Courant reported.
In 2014, nearly million people 18 and older in the U.S. (18.1% of all adults) suffered from some form of mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.