Call to Action - The Murphy Bills - Please share widely
TIME SENSITIVE! Call on Tuesday, July 5, 2016
HR 2646, the Tim Murphy Bill, will be voted on by the House on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Though it is unlikely House members will change their minds at this time, we must contact them.
- Please call your representative in the House to oppose HR 2646, using talking points in this alert. Call on Tuesday, July 5th.
S. 2680, the Senate bill introduced by Chris Murphy, needs to be protected from amendments from the floor or changes during conference with the House. Call the home offices of your senators for meetings if possible. If meetings are not possible, call and/or write them to insist that no amendments or changes be accepted from the House bill. Use the same talking points provided in this alert.
Call or meet with your senator regarding S. 2680 to insist that no amendments or changes be accepted from the House bill. Call by July 8th.
The House of Representatives
HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016, sponsored by Tim Murphy (R, PA), will be voted on by the House this coming Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The E&C Committee voted unanimously in support of the bill in June. It is highly unlikely we will be able to stop the passage of the bill on the House floor. However, we still MUST register our objections and cite the specific issues that are the most dangerous to the c/s/x community. See talking points below.
The feedback we have received to date is that HR 2646 was greatly amended and much was taken out. It is now considered a bipartisan bill, with Democrats supporting it as equally as Republicans. All members of the House need to hear from us that DESPITE significant changes, HR 2646 is still dangerous for people with mental health conditions. Our voice has been silenced in the bill. The very people who receive MH services have been excluded from developing changes in mental health care that are urgently needed.
Our best hope lies with the Senate and S. 2680, sponsored by Senator Chris Murphy, (D, CT). Though it does not have the solutions we need, it is far less dangerous than HR 2646. The Senate is expected to take up the bill this summer or fall. We need to contact our senators and say the following: Do not accept any amendments to S. 2680 from the House. Use the same talking points provided.
People should call their senators and set up an appointment to meet with them during the recess when they will be home for July and August, as soon as possible. Organize people to go in groups to the extent possible. If meetings are not possible, please call and write anyway.
When you speak to a legislative aide over the phone, choose 2-3 of the following points:
- Nothing about us without us. HR 2646 excludes the voice of people who have lived experience with mental health issues in decisions that dramatically affect our lives.
- The bill expands grant funding and the timeframes for Assisted Outpatient Treatment. There is no evidence that outpatient commitment is more effective than voluntary care.
- HR 2646 significantly weakens the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- HR 2646 uses “anosognosia” [pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVo2QZ29q_c] as a rationale to relax confidentiality issues and promote forced treatment. There is no scientific basis for anosognosia in mental health.
- The bill is hostile to programs and concepts of recovery.
- Increased services in the community are needed; they cannot be replaced by hospitals.
For a detailed analysis of the above talking points, see http://ncmhr.org/supplemental-information.htm
Please let us know that you’ve called your Representative and what their response was. We need to gauge how much impact we have. Please email us with the following information at email@example.com
- Representative’s name
- Outcome of call
- Any comments you might have
TIME SENSITIVE! Call or write on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.
Valerie L. Marsh, MSW
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
NCMHR is a member of the National Disability Leadership Alliance, which consists of
15 national disability groups, is opposed to the Murphy bill HR 2646
Dear Reps. Upton, Whitfield, Pallone, Burgess, Barton and Shimkus: Our alliance of 15 national disability organizations, all run by persons with disabilities remain opposed to Rep. Murphy' s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis proposed bill, HR 2646, while we support HR 4435, Comprehensive Behavioral Health Reform and Recovery Act, sponsored by Reps. Green, DeGette, Matsui, Tonko, Loebsack , and Kennedy.
NDLA is a coalition of 15 national grassroots organizations run by persons with disabilities. We value the opportunity to make meaningful choices about our lives, to live and work in the communities of our choice, to have a full voice in all of the policies that affect our lives, and to be treated with dignity and respect for our civil and human rights. Click to read the letter (PDF, 558KB, 3 pages)
National Disability Leadership Alliance as well as the following of its individual members:
Autistic Self-Advocates Network
APRIL (Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living)
Little People of America
National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
National Council of Independent Living
National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities
Not Dead Yet
United Spinal Association
Article by Val Marsh selected as the "feature blog" at the
Mad In America Blog
The article, titled "The Murphy Bill, HR 2646 — a Heinous Piece of Legislation — is Coming to a Vote. Act Now" was published July 5, 2016
This coming Wednesday, two days after the 4th of July celebration of our country’s declaration of freedom from oppression, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016, or HR 2646. It is also known as The Murphy Bill. The ORIGINAL Murphy Bill. In truth, it has nothing to do with freedom, and everything to do with oppression. Read more...
NCMHR Appoints Valerie L. Marsh, MSW as Executive Director
WASHINGTON, April 25, 2016 —The Board of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) announced the appointment of Valerie L. Marsh, MSW as Executive Director.
“I look forward to joining other mental health consumers and survivors dedicated to empowerment, self-determination and access to effective, humane, voluntary services that are peer-run,” said Marsh. View Full Press Release
Stop FDA from Down-Classifying the Shock Device to a Class II Device Stop shock treatment
Please sign this petition to the FDA requesting that ECT machines not be downgraded to Category II and also directly contact the FDA to give testimony that there should be no down grading of the ECT machines
Visit www.change.org/p/fda-stop-fda-from-down-classifying-the-shock-device-to-a-class-ii-device-stop-shock-treatment to sign the petition, and to find instructions on how to submit comments.
The Recovery Now! Campaign advances innovative strategies to improve the quality of mental health care, promoting recovery for all Americans affected by mental health conditions. Learn more and join the campaign today!
Advocates Launch Campaign to Advance Recovery-Focused Mental Health Care
As House and Senate Democrats and Republicans focus on comprehensive mental health reform, and a recent poll by the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research indicated that 71% of Americans are calling for “significant “ or “radical” changes in the way that mental illnesses and addiction are treated, leading mental health experts and advocacy groups have announced the formation of the Recovery Now! Campaign. The campaign has been created to address the crisis in our mental health service system and the personal crises faced daily by individuals and families in great distress. Click here to read the campaign launch announcement.
2015 Public Policy Priorities
Our 2015 public policy priorities focus on advocating for a recovery-focused mental health system that prevents crisis, protects rights, and promotes wellness, economic empowerment, and social inclusion. Click here to view our public policy priorities.
GAO Report on Health and Human Services Leadership Misleading, Incomplete
In 2014, Representative Tim Murphy (PA-18) engaged the GAO to enumerate the programs the Administration funds to assist persons with severe mental illness, to determine the degree to which these programs are coordinated, and to assess the evaluations done on the programs. The GAO identified over a hundred federal programs, but comes to misleading conclusions in its report. Read the GAO report and our position statement (PDF, 120KB, 1 page).
Editorial: Does the scientific evidence support the recovery model?
One of the most robust findings in schizophrenia research is that a substantial proportion of those with the illness will recover completely and many more will regain good social functioning. Click here to read the entire editorial. (PDF, 74KB, 6 pages)
For docs, more biology info means less empathy for mental health patients
New Yale study challenges the notion that biological explanations for mental illness boost compassion for the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from mental-health problems. Click here to read the findings | Effects of biological explanations for mental disorders on clinicians’ empathy by
Matthew S. Lebowitz1 and Woo-kyoung Ahn (PDF, 637KB, 5 pages)
New Research Briefs
NCMHR has compiled lists of references and citations to support legislative advocacy and public education efforts.
To access research and citations on Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), also known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), click here (PDF, 157KB, 5 pages).
To access research and citations documenting the weak link between mental health diagnoses and violence, click here (PDF, 156KB, 5 pages).
To access research on the evidence base for peer support and recovery-oriented approaches to distress and crisis, click here (PDF, 208KB, 13 pages).
Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: What the Evidence Really Says
Under Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), a person with a serious mental health condition is mandated by a court to follow a specific treatment plan, usually requiring the person to take medication and sometimes directing where the person can live and what his or her daily activities must include. Proponents of IOC claim that it is effective in reducing violent behavior, incarcerations, and hospitalizations among individuals with serious mental health conditions. However, repeated studies have shown no evidence that mandating outpatient treatment through a court order is effective; to the limited extent that court-ordered outpatient treatment has shown improved outcomes, these outcomes appear to result from the intensive services that have been made available to participants in those clinical trials rather than from the existence of a court order mandating treatment.
Involuntary Outpatient Commitment: What the Evidence Really Says (PDF, 152KB, 4 pages)
NCMHR Visionary C/S/X Leadership Conference - Audio Recording Now Available!
Another lively and inspiring discussion took place this year, featuring Daniel Fisher, Susan Rogers and Wilma Townsend, and moderated by Keris Myrick. If you missed this annual NCMHR event, please click here to access the audio of the presentations.