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Coalition urges Senate to act on mental health bill

May 17, 2013

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Forty members of the Mental Health Liaison Group, including the AHA, recently urged Senate leaders to schedule a final vote on the “Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act,” S. 689.

The legislation calls for federal education and health programs that push for awareness, prevention and early identification of mental health conditions.

The bill focuses on school settings, promoting school-wide prevention through the development of positive behavioral interventions and supports. It encourages
school-based mental health partnerships. It also calls for spending for suicide prevention, help for children recovering from traumatic events, and mental health awareness for teachers.

Sponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-IA, and Lamar Alexan­
der, R-TN, the legislation “takes significant steps toward improving school-based mental health care in the United States while renewing critical programs under the jurisdiction of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,” the groups wrote. Noting that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved the bill last month, the letter urges Senate leaders “to move expeditiously with final Senate floor action on this important measure.” For more, click on: http://tinyurl.com/c5le9yy.