Senate resolution brings awareness to need for mental health services

U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), who crafted the Mental Health Reform Act this summer, also introduced a bipartisan resolution last week recognizing Oct. 10 as World Mental Health Day.

The goal of the resolution was to bring awareness to the importance of mental health services and initiatives that are largely overlooked.

“Whenever I speak of mental health, all heads nod yes,” Cassidy said. “It’s non-partisan; it cuts across all social demographics. Everyone knows someone who is affected by mental illness. I’m old enough to remember when people would not speak of cancer. For some reason, there’s a similar stigma and shame associated with speaking of mental illness. The time has come and gone to address that stigma. Let’s continue talking about this. Let’s talk about how we can help millions of broken families by fixing it.”

Members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Cassidy and Murphy  introduced the Mental Health Reform Act in August, legislation aimed at making significant changes to America’s mental health care system. Among the proposed changes are bolstering the mental health care system by increasing resources, enhancing coordination and searching for additional ways to improve outcomes for families dealing with mental illness.

“Too many children and adults with mental health needs do not get the care they need to live healthy and productive lives,” Murphy said. “We turn a blind eye to the tens of millions of people needing mental health treatment around the world. We ignore the 3,000 suicide deaths that occur each day, and do nothing to address the fact that 25 percent of the global population will experience a mental disorder in their lifetime. It’s past time we build treatment capacity and integrate care so that individuals can treat both their mind and body, and expand the mental health workforce to improve mental health systems around the world.”