Fitzpatrick Backs Bipartisan Mental Health Reform Bill

Jan 4, 2014 Issues: Health

LANGHORNE, PA – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) Friday announced his support of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act [H.R. 3717] – bipartisan legislation aimed at reforming support for untreated mental illness.

“Finding ways to make programs work more efficiently and effectively should be a priority of every member of Congress, especially when those programs benefit those who need assistance the most – including those dealing with mental health concerns,” said Fitzpatrick following his co-sponsorship. “By working together, we can better use our resources and head off problems that might arise from cases of mental illness before they happen.”

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act was introduced by Congressman Dr. Tim Murphy (PA-18) – a trained psychiatrist – following a year-long investigation into the nation’s broken mental health system. The bill was introduced the week of the one year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“This legislation addresses the concerns with the way mental health cases are treated here in the U.S., and outlines reforms to fix them in a cost effective way,” continued Fitzpatrick. “By increasing access to trained professionals, growing communication between doctors and families, and ensuring federal funds to things that work and out of the federal bureaucracies, we can make strides toward helping families across America.”

The legislation is supported by the Treatment Advocacy Center, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The bill as nine bipartisan cosponsors and has been forwarded to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce who has jurisdiction over such programs.

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Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.