Lawmakers Make Mental Health Part of Agenda

Posted February 25, 2013 at 5:21pm

A number of bills focused on mental-health issues have been introduced in the 113th Congress, including the following:

Mental-Health First Aid Training: HR 274, S 153

Introduced by Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., and Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, the bill would set up grants for training programs to help people identify symptoms of mental illness, provide early referrals to services and safely de-escalate crises.

Community Mental-Health Centers: S 264

Introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., the bill would establish criteria for federally qualified community behavioral health centers and allow them to receive Medicaid payments for their services.

Mental-Health Courts: HR 401, S 162

Introduced by Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Fla., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., the bill would reauthorize and update a 2004 law (PL 108-414) that set up a grant program to support mental-health courts and other collaborative programs between the criminal justice and mental-health systems.

School-Based Mental-Health Services: HR 628, S 195

Introduced by Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, D-Calif., and Franken, the bill would create a grant program for schools that partner with community groups involved in mental health to increase student access to mental-health resources.