Napolitano Fights Steep Cuts to Mental Health Services

Dec 8, 2011 Issues: Mental Health

(Washington, D.C.) Yesterday, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, joined by 35 of her fellow representatives, sent a letter to Democratic and Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives objecting to the extreme cuts to mental health services contained in the current House Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education Bill, H.R. 3070. The letter encouraged the House to adopt the Senate’s version of the bill, which spreads budget cuts out more evenly instead of focusing on mental health services for deep cuts.

“This bill deals a crippling blow to our mental health services that would take years to recover from,” Napolitano said. “We have already seen severe cuts to mental health services in recent years. This latest bill would decimate critical programs that our veterans, young people, and millions of other Americans need to avoid the suicide, crime, and imprisonment that come with untreated mental health issues.”

Background:

· H.R. 3070 makes an 8.4 percent cut to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the main federal agency for mental health services.

· States have cut funding for mental health care by nearly $3.4 billion over the last 3 years.

· Suicide rates in America are currently higher than the rate of traffic fatalities (Department of Transportation). Suicides in the U.S. outnumber homicides by more than two to one. (World Health Organization)

· One out of five children and adolescents suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder, and one out of four Americans suffers from a mental health issue in a given year. (American Academy of Pediatrics, NAMI)

· The following members of Congress signed onto the letter:

o       Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA)

o       Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)

o       Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)

o       Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)

o       Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)

o       Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)

o       Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)

o       Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL)

o       Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)

o       Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)

o       Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

o       Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX)

o       Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ)

o       Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

o       Rep. James Langevin (D-RI)

o       Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

o       Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA)

o       Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)

o       Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA)

o       Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ)

o       Rep. Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico)

o       Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

o       Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)

o       Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)

o       Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

o       Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)

o       Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY)

o       Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ)

o       Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

o       Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA)

o       Rep. John F. Tierney (D-MA)

o       Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)

o       Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY)

o       Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)

o       Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)

 

Copy of the letter: http://napolitano.house.gov/sites/napolitano.house.gov/files/documents/120711%20protesting%20mental%20health%20cuts.pdf

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