Friday, 23 February 2018




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H.R. 3717, the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013,” is “shockingly regressive” mental health legislation that would reverse some of the most significant advances of the last 30 years in mental health services and supports. It would exchange low-cost services that have positive outcomes, for higher-cost yet ineffective interventions.

Among the problematic provisions of Rep. Murphy’s bill is the establishment of a grants program to expand Assisted Outpatient Commitment (AOT), under which someone diagnosed with a serious mental illness is court-mandated to follow a specific treatment plan, usually requiring medication. Yet the facts show that AOT is not effective, involves high costs with minimal returns, breeds mistrust within families, and is not likely to reduce violence. There are more effective alternatives.

Rep. Murphy’s bill also attacks the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy programs, which are the primary provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

The Murphy Bill continues to gain co-sponsors and we need your help to stop this.
For the next two weeks, please contact your Representatives to tell them NO on H.R. 3717!

What you can do:

  • Find out if any of your Representatives are co-sponsors.
  • If any of your Representatives are co-sponsoring, you should respectfully request that they remove their co-sponsorship.
  • Those who are not co-sponsoring should be thanked and encouraged to stay off the bill. Let them know there is strong opposition/controversy within the cross-disability community on this bill.

For more info visit www.ncmhr.com or madmimi.com/s/ea45c4


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  • The Murphy Bills and Beyond

    In June of 2015, Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania re-introduced the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" (HR 2646), better known as the Murphy Bill.  A month later, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut introduced a very similar bill in the Senate called the "Mental Health Reform Act of 2015" (S2680).  Both pieces of legislation threatened to dramatically increase the use of force and dismantle many of the more progressive and healing alternatives that have been developed in recent years. As of November 2016 the fate of both bills remained uncertain.

    Meanwhile, another piece of legislation called 21st Century Cures was in development and garnering increasing bipartisan support. A sweeping and expansive healthcare bill, 21st Century Cures was, initially, minimally focused on mental health provisions. Having been stalled in part due to resistance from Senate Democrats' concerns that the bill was dangerously empowering for the pharmaceutical industry, 21st Century Cures also faced an uncertain fate in November. However, the election of President Trump and consequent fears for the bill’s fate prompted a reworking of the bill that also included the absorption of many aspects of HR 2646, “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis.”

    21st Century Cures was passed by the House and Senate on November 30th and December 7th of last year, respectively. On December 13, 21st Century Cures (now including substantial portions drawn directly from HR 2646, "Helping Familties in Mental Health Crisis") was signed into law by President Obama. 



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