The State Senate this week approved a resolution sponsored by Senator Guy Reschenthaler (R-37) urging Congress to support federal legislation to provide greater assistance to individuals with mental illness and their families.

Senate Resolution 275, which received unanimous support, calls on Congress to support HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.

“Nearly 10 million Americans have a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression, and many do not receive the treatment that the desperately need,”  Reschenthaler said during remarks on the Senate floor.  “Too often, those suffering mental from mental illness end up in the criminal justice system or enduring homelessness because of insufficient mental health programs and policies.”

Reschenthaler said the measure is based on a recommendations made after a comprehensive review of the country’s mental health by the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, chaired by Congressman Tim Murphy. The committee found that many who were in need of care were denied access to treatment.

“We have watch as federal barriers to care have turned our streets, prisons and emergency rooms and into warehouses for those with serious mental illness,” Reschenthaler said.  “This legislation would assist millions of Americans in need by fixing the current bed shortage, helping doctors and families become partners in the care of those with mental illness, and providing more funding for evidenced-based programs that make a difference.
With improved treatment and programs, Reschenthaler said more programs and services would be available to support those with mental illness and enable them to lead full, productive lives.

CONTACT: Aaron Bonnaure (717) 787-5839