We hope that you will join us and JFNA in supporting comprehensive mental health reform by taking part in a nationwide effort this week to urge Senate leadership to bring the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, S. 2680, to the Senate floor for a vote. This bill unanimously passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in April, and similar legislation received near
unanimous support in the House of Representatives in July, but time is running out.
The Senate must act in the next few weeks if Congress is to have a chance to reconcile differences between the House and Senate bills in a conference committee and send mental health reform legislation to the President's desk.
Mental illness is widely prevalent in the United States, and the suicide rate is the highest it has been in 30 years. Many individuals with mental illness or addictive disorders are unable to access or receive necessary services and supports, and face mental health service delivery systems that are largely fragmented and uncoordinated.
The need for comprehensive reform is critical to improve the lives of tens of millions of Americans. The bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 will, if enacted, help Jewish social service agencies that provide mental health and addictive disorder services by:
- Strengthening federal coordination of mental health resources;
- Holding health insurers accountable for providing mental health and addictive disorder services at parity;
- Promoting the integration of mental health care with primary care; and
- Increasing early access to mental health services.
We ask that you contact your senators to urge Senate leadership to bring up the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, S.2680, for immediate consideration and to vote "yes" for this important bill when it is brought to the Senate floor.
To locate contact information for your senator, please click
. JFNA's Strategic Health Resource Center has also provided a
sample letter and talking points
, as well as
on the mental health reform legislation.