National Alliance on Mental Illness
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For Immediate Release, May 26, 2000
Contact: Chris Marshall
At a press yesterday on Capitol Hill, Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) introduced bipartisan legislation to increase access to mental illness treatment services and provide new resources for programs that emphasize screening and diagnosis, education, and services for persons in the criminal justice system. The legislation, known as the Mental Health Early Intervention, Treatment and Prevention Act of 2000 (S 2639), contains a number of initiatives that NAMI has been advocating for years including mental health courts and jail diversion programs, integrated treatment for co-occurring addictive disorders and mobile crisis outreach teams. S 2639 also authorizes a variety of federal initiatives aimed at preventing violence and suicide among individuals with severe mental illnesses.
NAMI Board Member Moe Armstrong attended yesterday's press conference and pledged the organization's strong support for S 2639. Included below is a copy of NAMI's statement of support for the bill, as well as a section-by-section summary of the legislation. The full text of the bill can be viewed on the Library of Congress THOMAS website at: http://thomas.loc.gov/ in a few days, by entering the bill number S 2639.
NAMI advocates are urged to contact their Senators and urge them to support this bipartisan effort to improve access to treatment and prevent the tragic consequences of state and local public mental health systems to reach those most in need of treatment (e.g., suicide, violence, criminalization and homelessness). Urge your Senators to cosponsor S 2639.
All Senate offices can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or by going to the NAMI web site at http://www2.nami.org/policy.htm and click on "Write to Congress."
NAMI Press Release: Senators Domenici And Kennedy Introduce Mental Health Reform Bill