Last week , a bi-partisan group of senators -- led by Sens. Stabenow (D-MI) and Blunt (R-MO) -- introduced the Excellence in Mental Health Act, legislation that, among other things, would ensure that federally qualified community behavioral health centers include mental health services, including 24-hour crisis care, integrated physical-mental-substance abuse treatment, and additional support for families of individuals living with mental health issues.
This legislation comes in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 26 children and adults were killed by a young man armed with guns.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), said: "Most people living with mental illness are not a danger to themselves or anyone else. But the cost of inadequate treatment can be dire in some cases. In the aftermath of the tragedy in Connecticut and too many others like it, it is important to do everything possible to keep our children safe. Strengthening our mental health services is a critical part of that."
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), said: "In the wake of tragedies like Sandy Hook, we must work together to spend federal dollars more wisely when treating people who are mentally ill. This bill will help address our fragmented mental health system and ensure that more patients have access to the care they need by offering current Community Mental Health Centers a chance to expand their services and obtain the Federally Qualified Community Behavioral Health Center designation."
CEC has encouraged a comprehensive apporach to addressing the mental health and behavioral needs of children. In December, CEC signed onto a statement written by researchers and expert practitioners, which emphasizes the priority of keeping children safe by focusing on balance, communication connectedness and support.
If you haven't read the CEC Today interview with Dr. George Sugai, an expert in emotional and behavioral disorders; and CEC's Special Interest Division, the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders President, Kris Melloy, we encourage you to do so by clicking here!
Learn more about about the Excellence in Mental Health Act here.