Mental health is an important topic, especially given the world’s continual challenges. A new bill aims to expand the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act that was passed in 2014. –By Brian Hurlburt, Founder and Host, Magnifying Excellence Podcast.
U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) announced their new bipartisan bill in June as the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Act of 2021. The legislation is designed to expand high-quality mental health and addiction services nationwide by giving every state the opportunity to fully fund the creation of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics in their communities as part of health care.
The bill has bipartisan support and is cosponsored by U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).
“Mental illness and substance use disorders do not discriminate – they affect our parents, children, CEOs, students, teachers, veterans and other community leaders,” said Senator Stabenow. “For too long, our country has funded health care above the neck differently than health care below the neck. We are finally transforming the way we deliver high-quality services in our communities and the results are clear. It’s time to expand these highly successful clinics to people in every corner of our country.”
According to information released with the bill’s announcement, “certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are required to provide a comprehensive set of services including 24/7/365 crisis services; outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment services; immediate screenings, risk assessments, and diagnoses; and care coordination including partnerships with emergency rooms, law enforcement, and veterans groups.”
A new report, authored by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, shows that these community clinics are increasing access to high-quality mental health and addiction treatment that is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people in communities across the country.
Statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services show that people who received services at these clinics:
· Had 63.2% fewer emergency department visits.
· Spent 60.3% less time in jails.
· And saw a 40.7% decrease in homelessness.