Thu June 04, 2015
ARLINGTON, Va. June 4, 2015 – Today the American Psychiatric Association (APA) praised U.S. Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) for their reintroduction of comprehensive mental health reform legislation, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.
“The nation’s mental health system needs reform and investment—especially on behalf of patients and families living with serious mental illness. We applaud Representatives Murphy and Johnson,” said APA President Renée Binder, M.D. “Among the many important provisions of this bill are strengthening enforcement of mental health parity, enhancing the psychiatric workforce, ensuring better coordination of federal resources, and improving research and treatment for persons with mental illness, including substance use disorders.”
Added APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.: “We look forward to working with Congress to pass this bill this year.”
Mental illnesses are widely prevalent in the United States. Sixty million Americans live with a diagnosable psychiatric or substance use disorder, and 13 million Americans live with a serious or severe psychiatric disorder. Despite recent gains in medical research and public awareness, ensuring treatment for psychiatric and substance use disorders remains a challenging task for physicians and patients alike, unnecessarily complicated by wide-ranging factors that include fragmented delivery and reimbursement systems, regulatory barriers, workforce shortages, and the enduring stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders.
The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders. Visit the APA at www.psychiatry.org.
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