Wednesday, June 15, 2016

H.R. 2646 passes from the Energy and Commerce Committee - 53 I's, NO O's

What a day for #Mentalheatlhreform! H.R. 2646 passes from the Energy and Commerce Committee on to house floor. Thanks to Treatment Advocacy Center, Mental Illness Policy.Org and Chairman Upton for their strong leadership ... but mostly for Congressman Tim's Murphy's relentless energy and effort to not allow this bill or it's mission die. Families in crises thank him from the bottom of our hearts.

Meanwhile, back in Kentucky the Interim Joint Committee on Health & Welfare held a hearing in support of Tim's Law. 5 years of work is paying off. Thanks to all the advocates who have come together to help the voiceless, who lack the ability for informed consent. View the Kentucky Hearing here:

Opening Statement in Congress
Rep. Tim Murphy
Mark-Up of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act
For Immediate Release: June 14, 2016
Contact: Murphy Press 202.225.2301
Mr. Chairman, today this Committee takes a monumental step by advancing a bill that makes real reforms and offers evidence-based treatment for families in mental health crisis.
Today we are taking a stand. We affirm that mental illness is not a crime. Mental illness is not a moral defect, it is not a choice, and it is not a joke. Mental illness is just that – an illness. We affirm that psychosis is not “non-consensus reality” -- it is a symptom of an illness, that with appropriate medical treatment, is the difference between life and death.
What we are doing is historic: no Committee has ever tackled the issue of serious mental illness like we are today.
In December 2012 we began a quest when America was shocked to hear of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. For those children and families, we made a promise: we’re going to fix the broken mental health system.
For those innocent people in a movie theater in Aurora, the grocery store parking lot in Tucson, wherever the perpetrator was someone with untreated mental illness, for the victims and their families we made a promise: to deliver treatment before tragedy.
The same promise goes for the hundreds of thousands of homeless, imprisoned, addicted and depressed individuals who die each day with untreated mental illness.
It's tragic these horrific events happen in a nation so advanced as ours. It's doubly tragic that many could have been prevented. And it's triply tragic because inept and misguided federal policies are to blame for many of these deaths.
Congress is not standing idly by anymore. It is our time to take a stand and say "No more moments of silence.” We must have treatment before tragedy and let people know that we will finally break down the stigma of mental illness not through slogans, but through real evidenced based treatment - where people know that if they get care, they can get better. Because where there is help there is hope. And tomorrow, we vote to make sure that help is on the way.
For the victims, for the families, for the millions of Americans struggling with mental illness please know we heard you. And tomorrow, after a long wait, we are keeping our promise to you and taking a stand to bring real care for mental illness.
My heartfelt thanks go to Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, for her steadfast work and dedication to this cause. To all the 197 bipartisan co-sponsors, for all the professional organizations who have endorsed this bill and fought for real change: I thank you.
Here and now this committee jointly proclaims that the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness must come out of the shadows, we declare a new dawn of hope for the care of those with mental illness and we pledge our unwavering commitment to continued work to bring help and hope in the future.
I applaud and thank Chairman Upton, Chairman Pitts and Ranking Member Pallone and every member who came to the table in good faith, rolled up their sleeves and worked together to see this through.
Finally, to every family member, the tens of thousands who reached out to me, who stepped forward to share their story and be a voice for change, my deepest gratitude for your courageous stand to help families in mental health crisis.
Murphy Press | Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18)
2332 Rayburn House Office Building | Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-2301 | (202) 225-1844 (f)

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