Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Senate to Vote on Excellence Act Today

April 17, 2013

Crucial Mental Health Legislation Deserves Broad Support

The following quote can be attributed to Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Senate is preparing to vote on the bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act as an amendment to the gun legislation. This is the most significant and comprehensive piece of legislation to strengthen our mental health system in a generation.

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For too long, this country has failed to invest in mental health services. The consequences of that failure have and will continue to impact the lives of each and every American. We can and must do better.

Today, the Senate has an opportunity to improve the lives of up to 1.5 million Americans living with behavioral health needs, including 200,000 returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The time for leadership is now. I applaud the bipartisan co-sponsors of Excellence Act and I urge all Senators to put the mental health of this nation first and vote in favor of the Stabenow-Blunt Amendment.

The Excellence Act would increase the quality of mental health services and expand access to treatment for up to 1.5 million Americans. The legislation is co-sponsored by a bipartisan team of Senators including Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Chris Coons (D-DE). Several national organizations, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, have endorsed the legislation.

The bill is supported by over 50 mental health organizations, veterans organizations and law enforcement organizations including: the National Association of Police Organizations, American Psychiatric Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness, the National Council for Behavioral Healthcare, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Mental Health America, National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Give An Hour, among many others.

To arrange media interviews with Linda Rosenberg or Chuck Ingoglia of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, please contact: Kirk Monroe at kmonroe@prismpublicaffairs.com or via phone at 202-207-3646

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with our 2,000 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — the more than 8 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained nearly 100,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. Learn more at www.TheNationalCouncil.org.

Contact: Kirk Monroe 202-207-3646

Meena Dayak 301-602-8474

SOURCE National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Source: PR Newswire