Your Signature Can Help Protect Mental Health Programs

Advocates are actively seeking grassroots support to protect funding for programs that advance mental health recovery and civil rights protection. Care for Your Mind is forwarding “Action Alerts” from two different organizations on two different mental health care topics. We also encourage you to contact your representatives directly.You can obtain contact information for your representatives by entering the zip code of the location where you reside into a search program.

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Below is information from the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery  

SAMHSA grants for state networks, the Alternatives Conference and the 5 mental health technical assistance centers are at risk!  You can help. Educate your Senators and Representatives about these vital programs. They need to hear from YOU now.  

Here’s why:

  • Budget negotiators in Congress just reached a deal that squeezes dollars for all health funding including mental health. Most members of Congress don’t know about the life-saving work and value of state mental health consumer networks and national TA centers.  It is up to you to educate them.
  • Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania will release a mental health bill today (Dec. 12th) that—among many other disturbing changes– would reorganize SAMHSA and end funding for state networks, the Alternatives conference and technical assistance centers.

What to do now:

  • Send emails and make phone calls to your members of the House and Senate appropriations committees telling them why they should protect funding for state mental health networks, the Alternatives conference and the five mental health technical assistance centers and how important they have been in your life, the life of people you love and for citizens of your state.
  • Go to http://ncmhr.org and look for the Action Alert with a link to the petition and more background.

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Below is information from The National Council for Behavioral Health

Today your Senator will have the chance to vote on higher reimbursement for mental healthcare.

We need every vote we can get. Will you take 2 minutes to ask your Senator to vote “yes”?

At today’s committee hearing on a Medicare physician payment bill, a demonstration project based on the Excellence in Mental Health Act will be offered as an amendment. The Excellence Act is gaining traction. 

But we’re not quite there yet – and your Senator could be the deciding vote! If you have not already done so, please take a moment today to urge him or her to vote “yes.

For further information on this bill see the Excerpt from CQ NEWS
Dec. 11, 2013 – 8:42 a.m.

Stabenow Wants Mental Health Measure Added to Medicare ‘Doc Fix’
By Melissa Attias, CQ Roll Call

The sponsor of a bipartisan proposal to create a demonstration project for community mental health care is planning to try to attach her measure to legislation that would replace the Medicare physician payment formula when the Senate Finance Committee marks it up Thursday.

Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow is expected to offer the proposal as an amendment to the doctor payment legislation, according to a Stabenow aide. The amendment would establish a demonstration project version of a mental health bill (S 264) introduced by Stabenow and Missouri Republican Roy Blunt that has 23 additional cosponsors.

The pair sent a letter to President Barack Obama last month with 28 other senators urging him to support advancing legislation to set up the demonstration by the end of the year.

“It is critical that we take the final step toward making sure that mental health services can be adequately reimbursed in the community, just as federally qualified health centers are reimbursed,” the senators wrote.

The Stabenow aide said supporters were hopeful the amendment would be adopted, pointing to the number of signers on the November letter who sit on the Finance Committee. Half of the senators on the list are members of the panel… According to the summary from Stabenow’s office, the proposal would create a demonstration project in 10 states that would have to certify that community mental health providers meet certain requirements and offer a variety of mental health services. States that want to participate would apply to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The idea is to allow those mental health services to be given adequate reimbursement under Medicaid in the same way that federally qualified community health centers receive reimbursement for primary care services, the document says.

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