Published on June 14, 2016.
WASHINGTON – Republican Main Street Partnership President Sarah Chamberlain hosted a news conference today in support of the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act. The bill authored by Republican Main Street Representative Tim Murphy, PhD (PA-18), is scheduled to begin the markup process this evening in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Chamberlain explained how she discovered grassroots enthusiasm for the bill when she hosted Main Street’s Women2Women tour. “Many women who took part in our nationwide forums singled out Representative Murphy’s bill as a vitally needed reform of our mental healthcare system. Together with all of our members of the Republican Main Street Partnership we galvanized a bipartisan group of nearly two hundred Members of Congress to sponsor and co-sponsor this legislation now poised to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Representative Tim Murphy (PA-18), the only licensed psychologist in Congress, explained, “Every day, I hear from families from across the country who are experiencing a mental health crisis and are counting on our efforts to bring both positive and substantial changes to the mental health system. I’m very proud of this legislation, which refocuses resources on helping those with the most serious mental illness by getting them treatment before, during and after a psychiatric crisis. None of this would be possible without the caregivers, who are tireless advocates for your sons, daughters, parents, brothers, and sisters. They battle each day through a system that is inherently discriminatory, cruel, and inhumane. Today we are here to change that and pass the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.”
Today’s group was joined by Doris A Fuller, an author and award-winning journalist. Fuller’s daughter experienced her first psychotic break as a college student. Fuller stated, “We spent over fifty years as a nation dismantling the mental healthcare system, and this bill is the first step towards reversing that.”
Fuller described her daughter’s struggles with severe mental illness and March 2015 suicide in a feature for the Washington Post, “How the ‘Demons’ Took My Daughter,” which has been read by millions worldwide.
Other Main Street Members in attendance today included: Representative Susan Brooks (IN-5), Representative Leonard Lance (NJ-7), and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25).
Also in attendance were representatives of the Mental Health Liaison Group, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
To date, there have been over 50,000 signatures on the Main Street Advocacy’s digital petition in support of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act. The petition can be found at www.mainstreetadvocacy.com.