Last week, the 21st Century Cures Act, was approved by Congress. This could speed up development of new medications, which could really help mental health care. Many people who suffer from serious mental illnesses (myself include) rely on medication. I will likely be on medicine for the rest of my life.
This bill is the first major mental health reform since the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). This requires insurance companies to treat mental health care the same way that they would cover physical health care.
A mental health bill folded into the 21st Century Cures Act promises to "fix our broken mental health system." This act promises to help families who have trouble finding and paying for the mental health care their loved one needs.
The bill will require states to use 10 percent of their mental health budget for early intervention for people experiencing psychotic symptoms. The program, called coordinated specialty care, will help provide a team of therapists and psychiatrists to help with medicine and talk therapy for the patient. They also help provide education and support for the patient's family. It can help younger patients be able to keep their jobs.
The bill will also help:
"... Those suffering from mental illness in the criminal justice system can begin to recover and get the help they need instead of just getting sicker and sicker," Cornyn says. "This bill also encourages the creation of crisis intervention teams, so that our law enforcement officers and first responders can know how to de-escalate dangerous confrontations. This is about finding ways to help the mentally ill individual get help while keeping the community safe at the same time."
This bill could be a life-saver for patients and their families all over the country.