Now is the time for a National Conversation regarding mental health. With our congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., we may have difficulty getting on the dais. Why? Because an individual presenting testimony to any committee regarding Mental Health, may not always speak to the same platform as varying members of Congress.
What does that mean?
Most of the members of Congress appear to follow the party line. In order to effectively foster legislation to enhance the care that the mentally ill receive, we need to be able to reach across all party lines.
It isn’t a Red or Blue issue. It is a human issue. Those who live with mental illness need regular, consistent and substantive help, not just when they are in crisis.
We shouldn’t use the mentally ill to gain votes.
In reading the proposed Murphy Bill H.R. 2646, there are many things I find disturbing. One of the big things I find disturbing is the section regarding Protection and Advocacy. Why would you limit the ability of Protection and Advocacy agencies to help the mentally ill? Abuse and Neglect aren’t the only two areas where this population is in need of assistance.
Representative Murphy, I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you or one of your bill’s co-sponsors. I don’t know what the answers are. I don’t know that your legislation is or isn’t the answer. What I do know is that we aren’t doing enough. What I do know is that your bill jeopardizes many things that the American’s with Disabilities Act grants.
House Speaker Paul Ryan had it right when he called for Congress to address mental health issues. On that we can agree.