Ask Your Legislator Where They Stand on Mental Health in Health Reform

Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration are committed to acting on a health care reform plan this spring. With legislators making key decisions on what is included in legislation, they need to hear from you. Contact them and urge that they ensure mental health concerns are addressed in any health care reform initiative, especially those making improvements to care coordination and chronic care management, as well as improving access to preventive services.

Contact your Senators and Representatives by:

  1. Calling their offices (find contact info for your local and national offices); or
  2. Completing the Email Your Legislator form with your information (below); and
  3. Raising these issues at any town hall meetings or other public appearances by these officials in your area.

Here are some questions to ask them about these important issues:

  1. What will you do to ensure that improving mental health care and addiction treatment are prioritized in any federal health care reform initiatives focused on chronic diseases?

    Mental illnesses are among the most expensive and disabling chronic diseases. They also often accompany and greatly increase the cost of treating other chronic conditions. But discussions on the need to address chronic conditions often fail to mention mental health and substance use conditions.

  1. What will you do to help improve integration of mental health and primary care for both children and adults?

    Most people with mental health needs seek care through their primary care providers, but over half of those with significant mental health conditions do not receive adequate mental health care. Plus, individuals with serious mental illnesses die on average 25 years earlier than the general population due to lack of adequate care coordination and preventative measures for co-occurring disorders including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and asthma.

  1. What are your plans to improve access to prevention services and how will you incorporate mental health and substance use prevention, particularly for children and youth, into those initiatives?

    A major report released last month illustrated the dramatic impact that mental health and substance use conditions have on our population. It also highlighted the tremendous opportunity we have to prevent these conditions with programs addressing children and adolescents. Many programs have been shown to reduce the occurrence of these conditions while also promoting other positive outcomes such as improved academic achievement.

 

  1. Complete the form with your information.
  2. Your message will be most effective if you personalize the subject line and message body.
  3. Click the "Send Your Message" button to send your letter.

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Send This Message

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Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to urge you to ensure mental health concerns are addressed in any health care reform initiative, especially those making improvements to care coordination and chronic care management, as well as improving access to preventive services.

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Thank you for your attention to these critical issues.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

   Please leave this field empty

2000 N. Beauregard Street,
6th Floor Alexandria, VA 22311

Phone (703) 884.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968