FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dini von Mueffling Communications
Sandy Hook Promise Applauds House for the Passage of
Mental Health Reform Bill in the 21st Century Cures Act
Calls on Senate to Pass Bill Into Law
Washington. D.C.— November 30th, 2016 – Today, in one of the most sweeping and rare bipartisan acts of this Congress, lawmakers passed legislation to enact meaningful reforms to our mental health and criminal justice systems, as well as fund research into cancer and other diseases. Sandy Hook Promise applauds the steadfast dedication of U.S. Representatives Tim Murphy, Eddie Bernice Johnson and the House for taking the crucial step in passing the 21st Century Cures Act. Today marks a positive first step to improve access to mental health services.
Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) who lost his first-grade son, Daniel Barden, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, commented on the bill’s passage, ”This bill will enable those who have been touched by mental health conditions to finally have a sense of hope. SHP was proud to support the tireless effort that Representatives Murphy and Johnson, the House and the mental health community put in over the past three years to pass these reforms. This legislation begins to do the critical work of prioritizing early intervention, increasing access to mental health services, and combating suicide in our schools and communities. It is a major victory for all of us and the people it will help. We urge the Senate to quickly pass the bill into law and the President to sign it.”
H.R. 34 aims to strengthen federal coordination of mental health resources, increase reporting on mental health parity, advance integrated service delivery, support the mental health workforce, increase early access to mental health services and promote suicide prevention. The legislation also includes important criminal justice measures that will facilitate collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health treatment and substance use disorder systems to ensure those with mental health conditions receive the treatment and help they need.
After the momentous passage in the House, Sandy Hook Promise calls upon the Senate to pass this bill into law.
About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a non-partisan national nonprofit formed and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Based in Newtown, Connecticut, SHP’s sole purpose is to prevent gun violence BEFORE it happens so that no other parents experience the senseless, horrific loss of their child. SHP delivers four, at no cost, Know the Signs programs that teach youth and adults to recognize signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help before it is too late. SHP’s Know the Signs programs have helped stop a school shooting, multiple suicide and firearm threats, while also intervening to help individuals get mental health assistance. Additionally, SHP advocates for sensible state and federal violence prevention policy in the areas of mental health and wellness identification, intervention and treatment as well as firearm access and storage. To bring SHP’s Know the Signs programs to your school or community or help advocate for sensible policy, visit sandyhookpromise.org.