Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Joins a Bipartisan Group of House and Senate Mental Health Leaders to Call for Passage of Mental Health Reform
Congresswoman Johnson spoke on the need for passage of the 21st century Cares Act in the Senate with Senator (l to r) Cornyn, Rep. Murphy, Senator Cassidy, Senator Murphy, Senator Alexander, and Rep. Upton
Washington, DC - (Monday, December 5, 2016) - Today, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) joined a bipartisan group of mental health leaders from the Senate and House of Representatives at a press briefing to encourage the Senate passage of H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act. Elements of the landmark mental health reform legislation, H.R. 2646, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, has been incorporated into the 21st Century Cures Act. The 21st Century Cures Act encourages innovation in biomedical research and development of new treatments.
“Many of us have a family member or know someone that is in need of mental health attention and we cannot ignore this issue,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “Additionally, we can all agree that the homeless remain extremely vulnerable to mental illness. However, by ignoring the homeless and their mental healthcare needs, they continue to fill our jails and prisons instead of receiving the proper treatment they so desperately need. I strongly believe that we will finally address these areas of unmet medical needs, which are often the most pervasive issues in our health system”
Congresswoman Johnson was joined by other congressional leaders on mental health: U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Members were also joined by advocates from the following organizations, who encouraged them not to give up the fight for mental health reform and the battle against the opioid addiction plaguing the country: American Occupational Therapy Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Emergency Nurses Association, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, NHMH, Sandy Hook Promise, Transforming Treatable Tragedies, Treatment Advocacy Center and more.
Congresswoman Johnson also reaffirmed her efforts to push for mental health reform. “I will continue to push for reforms and assistance for families and individuals in Texas affected by mental illness,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “This bill provides the framework that will help us make improvements in the lives of those that suffer from a mental illness or opioid addiction. So today I urge the Senate to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, so the bill can be signed by President Barack Obama, which will then allow patients and families to gain the treatment they deserve.”