View Today's Senate Hearing on US Mental Health System; MH in Schools Act to be Introduced

NYAPRS Note: View morning’s live televised coverage of a Senate hearing on the US mental health system at


Experts Testify Today on State of the U.S. Mental Health System

C-SPAN  January 24, 2013


The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing to examine the state of America's Mental Health System.

The hearing will discuss ways to improve access to services for those who need them, the need to focus on prevention and early intervention and will include a review of issues related to mental health and gun violence.

Pamela Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will testify on the first panel.

The second panel includes: Michael Hogan, former commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health, and chairman of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health; George DelGrosso, executive director of the Colorado Behavioral Health Council; Robert Vero, CEO of Centerstone of Tennessee; and Larry Fricks, senior consultant at the National Council for Behavioral Health.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) chairs the committee.

Members of Congress Push for More Mental Health Funding for Schools

Psychiatric News  January 23, 2013


U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said yesterday that they will introduce the Mental Health in the Schools Act in the House and Senate, respectively. The two spoke at a briefing on Capitol Hill for congressional staffers co-chaired by Napolitano and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) on mental health aspects of gun-violence prevention.

The proposed act would provide resources for schools to work with mental health care providers and offer comprehensive training to parents and teachers about warning signs of mental illness, said Franken. “It’s not just about preventing violence,” he said. “It’s about making sure kids have access to mental health services.”

Napolitano has introduced similar legislation in previous sessions of Congress, but the program has only received pilot-stage funding. She is concerned that fiscal obstacles lie in the way of final passage. “Unless we find the money, the likelihood of passage is quite low,” she said in an interview with Psychiatric News after the briefing. Nevertheless, she and other speakers said the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., might spur action to reduce gun violence and increase access to mental health services for young people.

For more in Psychiatric News about the Mental Health in the Schools act, click here.