Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

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Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, co-sponsor with Tim Murphy of critical legislation

How many roads must a man (or woman) walk down before you call him (or her) a…human…with a heart?

Jared Loughner. James Holmes. Adam Lanza. All suffer from serious mental illness. All represented tragic cries for help. All, among the 4 percent diagnosed with schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses, might have been helped. Maybe their victims saved, too.

Help is on the way.

Kudos to Republican Rep. of Pennsylvania Tim F. Murphy (the only psychologist in Congress) and Texas Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (the only psychiatric nurse in Congress) for co-sponsoring the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 3717: 2013-14).

On June 4, in that rarest display of bipartisanship, their bill was reintroduced.

This bill would (1) change unrealistic privacy laws so that family members are no longer shut out from decision-making; (2) revise need-for-treatment standards so people get help before they harm themselves or others; (3) include a provision for states to order so-called AOT (assisted outpatient treatment).

How many deaths will it take till he (or she) knows / That too many people have died?…

This bill, when it becomes law, will save lives.

(This is the 500th blog written by AMHF staff and supporters. Please do check out all by going to drop-down Blog on the homepage to search your interest by category. Thank you for keeping the work of this not-for-profit foundation vital. It is!)

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