On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan package aimed at addressing mental health and substance abuse in the US.
legislationentitled the Mental Health and Wellbeing Restoration Hope Act, passed by a vote of 402 to 20. Six Republicans and one Democrat did not vote.
All 20 no votes came from Republicans: Rep. Andy Biggs (Arizona), Lauren Bobert (Colorado), Moe Brooks (Alabama), Ken Buck (Colorado), Tim Burchett (Tennessee), Michael Cloud (Texas), Matt Gaetz ( Florida), Louis Gomert (Texas), Bob Good (Virginia), Paul Gosar (Arizona), Marjorie Taylor Green (Georgia), Michael Guest (Miss), Clay Higgins (Louisiana). ), Thomas Massey (Kentucky), Tom McClintock (California), Mary Miller (Illinois), Ralph Norman (South Carolina), Chip Roy (Texas), Greg Steube (Florida), and Van Taylor (Texas).
The package calls for the establishment of a Mental Health Crisis Coordinating Office within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) tasked with expanding access to crisis care. The office will receive $5 million per year starting in FY 2023 through FY 2027.
It also reauthorizes millions of dollars in grants to states, territories, tribes, and tribal organizations to provide community mental health services for adults with severe mental illness and children with severe emotional distress. Up to five percent of this funding can be directed towards early intervention activities.
In addition, the legislation reauthorizes a number of mental health programs and calls for the promotion of access to high-quality housing and recovery services for people with substance use disorders.
And it forces the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to direct or support research examining the impact of smartphones and social media on adolescent health and development.
Mental health problems have increased all over the world. According to the study, the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide increased by 25 percent in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. scientific bulletin released by the World Health Organization in March.
The Biden administration on Tuesday expressed support for the package. In an administrative policy statement, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said the legislation would “provide the necessary investment to build our mental illness and addiction treatment system.”
“The Mental Health and Wellbeing Restoration of Hope Act of 2022 will help create a more robust behavioral health crisis system in the United States by investing in crisis response and community needs for mental health and substance use disorders,” added in OMB.
AT statement after passing the package, Rep. Frank Pallone (DN.J.), the bill’s sponsor, noted increased levels of anxiety and depression.
“This bill is needed today more than ever. Americans are reporting an increase in anxiety and depression, as well as an increase in the use of opioids and other substances,” Pallone said.
“The Mental Health and Wellbeing Restoration Hope Act will help restore hope to millions of Americans. The legislation strengthens and expands more than 30 critical programs that collectively support mental health care and substance use disorder prevention, care, treatment and recovery services in communities across the country,” he added.
Rep. Kathy McMorris Rogers (R-Washington), another sponsor of the package, welcomed his package.
“I am grateful to all my colleagues who have led to many decisions in this bill and for the strong bipartisan work that has led to today’s passage in the People’s House,” she wrote in statement.
“Our goal is to keep building this for stronger families, stronger communities and a brighter future for everyone,” she added.