Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thank you Congressman Andy Barr for co-sponsoring H.R. 3717!

We are happy to report that Congressman Andy Barr, (R) 6th district, is stepping out to co-sponsor the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717). Family members, individuals living with a mental illness, medical providers and law enforcement — all confronted with the broken mental health system, applaud Rep. Barr's efforts! 

Thank you Congressman Andy Barr for your action! 

This landmark act sponsored by Congressman Tim Murphy (PA), is the first piece of legislation to effectively rehaul the nation’s antiquated mental health system.

Please write to Congressman Barr thanking him for his support in co-sponsoring H.R. 3717.

1432 Longworth House Office Building
WashingtonDC 20515
phone: 202-225-4706

View recent a hearing on H.R. 3717 here:

Read an excellent editorial review on H.R. 3717, published on March 31st, from the Wall Street Journal here:

Carolyn Colliver, a 45-year Kentucky advocate for the mentally ill, said: “Thank you Rep. Barr for supporting one of your most humane and compassionate legislative processes in the US history.”

Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy spent a year reviewing federal mental-health policies and in late 2013 introduced a thoughtful much needed overhaul. One proposal would create a new HHS assistant secretary for mental health to streamline federal programs—requiring that money go to evidence-based practices. 

Rep Murphy’s bill is a landmark project that has been sorely needed to overhaul SAMHSA's out of control spending and lack of accountability. 
Families in mental health crises face unthinkable challenges! When our loved ones threaten violence, medical professionals and the police encourage us to file restraining orders, hoping the ‘legal process’ will prevent tragedy – but instead of treatment, this process leads to homelessness or jail – not medical treatment! This creates a tremendous burden on untrained law enforcement officers and the judicial system! We would never force a person with heart disease to have a heart attack first, to gain access to treatment, but in the US, we force extremely ill individuals to become homeless or go to jail — for having an illness! The current system sets up young adults to fail, with a criminal record that prevents future employment and access to housing. IT IS INHUMANE AND YES, THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY!
For families like mine, there is nothing worse than depending on the police to be our emergency medial providers. In some cases, our calls can end deadly!
Finally there is a glimmer of hope to our hell! 
H.R. 3717 will unravel a broken system and addresses barriers to treatment for those who need it the most! 
GG Burns, founder: Change Mental Health Laws in Kentucky

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