Murray, Burr Announce Bipartisan Effort to Strengthen Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs | The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions – Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Murray, Burr Announce Bipartisan Effort to Strengthen Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Programs | The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions – Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

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Senator Murray: “This pandemic has made the mental health and substance use challenges our nation faces worse than ever, but it has also made clear that we all have a stake in making sure people can get the care they need.”
 
Senator Burr:  “Communities across the nation continue to face unprecedented mental health and substance use disorder challenges… it’s critical that we support local officials and health care professionals in their efforts to improve these programs amid our ongoing pandemic response.”
 
 
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ranking Member, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), announced they are working in a bipartisan way to reauthorize, improve, and expand federal mental health and substance use disorder programs.
 
Senator Murray:
 
“This pandemic has made the mental health and substance use challenges our nation faces worse than ever, but it has also made clear that we all have a stake in making sure people can get the care they need. We all have friends and family who are struggling with mental health and substance use disorders—whether we realize it or not. And we all rely on first responders, health care providers, teachers, and other frontline professionals who are facing burnout and trauma.
 
“That’s why I’m working with Senator Burr and our HELP Committee colleagues to strengthen programs supporting people in our communities on the frontlines of the mental health and substance use disorder crises. I hope working together we can take much needed steps to improve suicide screening and prevention, support youth mental health, combat the opioids and overdose crises, break down barriers in access to mental health care, and address underlying inequities that make these issues especially harmful for some communities.”
 
Senator Burr:
 
“The pandemic has placed extraordinary strain on America’s families, workers, and youth. Communities across the nation continue to face unprecedented mental health and substance use disorder challenges, and we’ve seen an alarming increase in depression, mental health-related ER visits, and suicide attempts among young people. That’s why it’s critical that we support local officials and health care professionals in their efforts to improve these programs amid our ongoing pandemic response. I look forward to working with Senator Murray and other members of the Committee on meaningful, bipartisan proposals to better address these significant challenges that impact so many children, families, and communities.”
 
The announcement follows the HELP Committee’s recent hearing focused on the state of the nation’s mental health and substance use disorder crises in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and ways in which federal programs can be improved to better address current and future mental health and substance use disorder needs. The Senators’ work would build on the Committee’s bipartisan track record responding to these challenges with the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, and the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act of 2018.
 
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Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions – 428 Senate Dirksen Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
202-224-5375

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