Yesterday, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano applauded the Supreme Court for upholding President Obama's health care law, which also secures and protects critical mental health services for all Americans.
"This is a victory for the mental health community and anyone affected by mental health related issues. Mental wellness is just as important as physical wellness, to ensure the quality of life of our youngsters, our families, our communities, and our returning service members," Napolitano said. "The mental health provisions within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expand on service delivery and most importantly, make certain that no American will be discriminated against when seeking mental health care. Recognition for the need of mental health services is long overdue."
The provisions in ACA will continue to make mental health an essential part of basic coverage, fund new screening programs to catch mental health related issues early on, and encourage care for suicide attempt survivors and individuals living with serious mental illness.
Rep. Napolitano is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, and the sponsor of H.R. 751, the Mental Health in Schools Act, which is a bill that would provide on-site behavioral health services in schools. Nationally, suicide ranks as the third leading cause of death for youth ages 15-24. The legislation is modeled after a school-based mental health program Napolitano started in her District in 2001, which has now expanded to 15 schools.