Virtual Lobby Day-June 9: Join Mental Health America’s Capitol Hill Day from Your Home or Office

Mental Health America affiliates and other advocates from across the country will go to Capitol Hill tomorrow, June 9, to tell Congress to act on many key issues vital to Americans who are living with mental health and substance use conditions: Medicaid and Discretionary Spending on Health Programs; Health Information Technology Incentives for Behavioral Health; Mental Health Services for Guard and Reserve Members; Suicide Prevention Programs; Preventing the Use of Seclusion and Restraints in Schools; and Mental Health Services in Schools.

We need your help to reinforce the important messages being delivered to Congress on Thursday. Please make a quick call urging your Senators and Representative to support these critical legislative and policy issues. (You can find fact sheets on the above issues at the Capitol Hill Day page of our website.)  It is important that legislators hear this message from all of us, not just those visiting Capitol Hill tomorrow.

Use the zip code locator below to find the names and phone numbers of your legislators. Below are talking points for your calls to Senators and House member.  (Note: Because not all pieces of legislation have been introduced in both the Senate and House, there are slightly different messages to use when calling Senators and House members.)

Talking points for the Senate:

My name is [name], I live in [city], and I'm calling to raise several issues of concern relating to mental health.

Medicaid and Discretionary Spending: 

  • Please oppose all plans that would block grant or otherwise cut Medicaid thereby harming low-income and disabled individuals, including those with mental health and substance use conditions.
  • Oppose all efforts that undermine the integrity of the Medicaid program, including the State Flexibility Act (Medicaid Maintenance-Of-Effort Repeal; /S. 868).
  • Reject federal “global spending caps,” including the CAP Act of 2011 (Global Spending Caps on Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and all other federal spending; /S. 245).
  • Reject the House proposed $139.2 billion cap for the FY12 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill, which is over $18 billion less than last year’s (FY11) funding level for the Labor, HHS bill and nearly $42 billion less than the Administration’s request.
  • The burden of deficit reduction must not be borne disproportionately by low- and moderate-income or disabled individuals.
  • Support a balanced approach to deficit reduction—looking at both spending and revenues, which is critical for any efforts to mitigate the deepest cuts to discretionary spending. Any deficit reduction plan that does not include revenues as part of its strategy represents a prolonged and protracted assault on funding levels for federal agencies such as SAMHSA.

Health Information Technology Incentives for Behavioral Health: 

  • Behavioral health is integral to a person’s overall health status.
  • To improve care coordination and overall quality of care, mental health and addiction treatment providers must be encouraged to implement HIT and engage in the appropriate, privacy-protected exchange of electronic health information.
  • Cosponsor Behavioral Health Information Technology Act of 2011 (S. 539).

Mental Health Services for Guard and Reserve Members:

  • Our Guard and Reserve Members face significant challenges when they return home and should receive the same quality mental health support that other members of the military receive.
  • The Coleman S. Bean Reserve Component Suicide Prevention Act (S. 579) would close a critical gap in suicide prevention efforts.
  • It emphasizes the value of peer-to-peer counseling recognized by the Defense Department’s August 2010 report on suicide prevention.
  • It is desperately needed to prevent suicides.
  • Cosponsor S. 579.

Suicide Prevention:

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old.  In the general U.S. population, one person dies by suicide about every 15 minutes and while there are four male suicides for every female suicide, three times as many females attempt suicide.
  • Cosponsor Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act (GLSMA) Reauthorization of 2011 (S. 740).
  • Increase funding for evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs that lower the incidence of suicide and suicide attempts (e.g., GLSMA) and promote wellness and mental health (e.g., Project LAUNCH).

Talking points for the House:

My name is [name], I live in [city], and I'm calling to raise several issues of concern relating to mental health. 

Medicaid and Discretionary Spending: 

  • Please oppose all plans that would block grant or otherwise cut Medicaid thereby harming low-income and disabled individuals, including those with mental health and substance use conditions.
  • Oppose all efforts that undermine the integrity of the Medicaid program, including the State Flexibility Act (Medicaid Maintenance-Of-Effort Repeal; /S. 868).
  • Reject federal “global spending caps,” including the CAP Act of 2011 (Global Spending Caps on Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and all other federal spending; /S. 245).
  • Reject the House proposed $139.2 billion cap for the FY12 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill, which is over $18 billion less than last year’s (FY11) funding level for the Labor, HHS bill and nearly $42 billion less than the Administration’s request.
  • The burden of deficit reduction must not be borne disproportionately by low- and moderate-income or disabled individuals.
  • Support a balanced approach to deficit reduction—looking at both spending and revenues, which is critical for any efforts to mitigate the deepest cuts to discretionary spending. Any deficit reduction plan that does not include revenues as part of its strategy represents a prolonged and protracted assault on funding levels for federal agencies such as SAMHSA.

Mental Health Services for Guard and Reserve Members:

  • Our Guard and Reserve Members face significant challenges when they return home and should receive the same quality mental health support that other members of the military receive.
  • The Coleman S. Bean Reserve Component Suicide Prevention Act (S. 579) would close a critical gap in suicide prevention efforts.
  • It emphasizes the value of peer-to-peer counseling recognized by the Defense Department’s August 2010 report on suicide prevention.
  • It is desperately needed to prevent suicides.
  • Cosponsor H.R. 1089

Prevent Use of Seclusion and Restraints in Schools:

  • We need to prevent and reduce the use of physical restraints and seclusion in schools.
  • H.R. 1381, the Keeping All Students Safe Act, is the first national effort to address this problem and ensure the safety of all student and school staff.
  • Cosponsor H.R. 1381.

Mental Health Services in Schools:

  • Mental health is essential to learning and to the healthy and social and emotional development of children.
  • The Mental Health in Schools Act of 2011 (H.R. 751) would expand the availability of comprehensive school-based mental health services for students across the U.S.
  • Cosponsor H.R. 751. 

To find your elected officials, please enter your ZIP Code. If you live in a split district, you may need to enter your full address.

 
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