National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Support Legislation to Reduce Criminalization and Provide Resources for Postpartum Depression Education

July 24, 2008

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has introduced a package of bills, the Advancing America's Priorities Act (S. 3297) that includes the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Reauthorization and Improvement Act (MIOTCRA) and the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act (S 1375).  These two bills address important priorities for people with mental illnesses -- reducing criminalization, and providing education and services on postpartum psychiatric disorders.  Both bills are among more than 30 pieces of legislation that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has placed a hold on in the Senate, halting all action. By combining the bills into one package, sponsors hope to force a vote and overcome the hold.   


Contact your Senators today and urge them to support these two important bills that are included in the Advancing America’s Priorities Act.

Learn More

Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act

The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (S 2304/HR 3992) was originally enacted in 2004.  This program provides grants to communities and states for jail diversion, community reentry services, and other initiatives to address the needs of people with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The MIOTCRA Reauthorization and Improvement Act would ensure continued increases in overall funding levels for this program.  Learn more about MIOTCRA, or read a copy of the bill.

Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act

The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act authorizes grants for educational programs and services for postpartum disorders, including postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. The bill also authorizes a consensus research conference and the development of a plan concerning postpartum depression and psychosis.