House passes Mental Health Reform as part of 21st Century Cures

We’re celebrating! Last night, the House passed H.R. 34 by a stunning vote of 392-26. Widely referred to as the 21st Century Cures Act, the bill includes provisions from the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016 (H.R. 2646) and from S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016. It also contains language from S. 2002, the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 and from S. 993, the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, promoting de-escalation training and diverting people with mental illness to treatment instead of incarceration.

Mental health reform legislation (H.R. 2646) passed the House in July of this year, but the Senate’s bill (S. 2680) had stalled. In recent weeks, the House and Senate negotiated compromise language on mental health and criminal justice reform that was incorporated into H.R. 34. Because of this, the Senate is expected to vote on the new language with little or no changes.

The 21st Century Cures Act also includes elements that NAMI strongly supports, including the following:

  • Authorizes $1.6 billion for the Brain Research Through Advancing Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, an effort to understand brain conditions, and $1.6 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative, and
  • Requires the FDA to include patient experience in regulatory decisions.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

Help bring mental health reform home.

We still need the Senate to pass this bill. Tell your Senators to vote YES!