BACON VOTES TO RESTORE MENTAL HEALTH FOR AMERICANS
Washington, June 25, 2022
Tags: Health Care
Washington, D.C. — Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7666, the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act:
“People battling substance use disorders or suffering from severe mental illness, especially children, will greatly benefit from the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act which supports states and communities to provide lifesaving care to people in need. We have a crisis in America with rising instances of fentanyl overdoses, violence in schools and mental illnesses contributed to isolation, fear, and anxiety.
“Specifically, legislation I supported was included in the final version. From H.R. 7073, the Department of Health and Human Services will be required to maintain a national hotline to provide mental health and substance use disorder resources to pregnant and postpartum women and their families.
“First, it reauthorizes and makes changes to a grant program for states, localities, and Indian tribes for statewide or regional telehealth access programs to promote the integration of behavioral health in pediatric primary care. Specific changes include allowing a nonprofit organization to receive the grant if the state (1) does not apply for the grant, and (2) supports the nonprofit's receipt of it. Additionally, recipients may use grant funds to support schools and emergency departments.
“Second, the bill reauthorizes a grant program for human services agencies and nonprofits to develop and maintain infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention, and treatment programs. This was truly bipartisan work leading to this bill’s passage.
“By maintaining charitable choice, it also makes sure local communities receive the flexibility they need to combat mental illness, addiction, and despair. The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act does this by keeping the federal government out of decision-making for treatment and targets resources to state and local communities through block grants and reauthorizes these programs before they expire this fall.
“Faith-based organizations can still compete on equal footing for federal funding because charitable choice is maintained. Finally, it ensures that taxpayer dollars are directed to stopping record-high overdose deaths through prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives.”
Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson provided a statement on the impact this legislation has in the Second district.
“This is good news for our counties. We have seen an increase in mental and behavioral health needs across the life span. These funds will assist in building capacities in services and programs, filling in gaps and potentially creating new innovative responses to our growing need.”