Congressman Tim Murphy (R-Penn.) gave an interview on the PBS NewsHour this Tuesday in which he discussed the mental health components of the 21st Century Cures Act. The act, which Congressman Murphy began writing in 2013, was signed into law earlier that day.
In his interview, Congressman Murphy reviews the high number of Americans with mental illnesses in a given year and the continued high mortality rate for mental illnesses as compared to other conditions. However, he points out, there is not enough care available to treat mental illnesses, leading to exorbitantly high incarceration and homelessness rates. Also, some of the care funded by states is not evidenced based. Congressman Murphy therefore reminds viewers of the importance of basing mental-behavioral healthcare on thoroughly tested treatments. He also promotes the use of integrated medical and behavioral healthcare.*
*For further video education on this topic, please visit www.nationalregister.org/ihts.
Key features of the law, as highlighted by PBS, include the following:
- Earlier interventions for behavioral health, especially in children and adolescents.
- Expanded care options, such as helping to increase the country's number of behavioral health providers and available spaces in psychiatric hospitals.
- The creation of an Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use to oversee expanded service efforts.