Pallone Floor statement on bipartisan legislation on mental health and substance use

The President of Energy and Trade, Frank Palone Jr. (D-NJ), made the following notes, prepared for delivery today on the floor of the house during the review of HR 7666, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Restoration Hope Act 2022:

Today, I stand up in support of HR 7666, the Rehabilitation of Hope for Mental Health and Wellbeing Act of 2022.

Thanks to Rodgers for working with me over the last few months to develop this comprehensive legislation that will help address the mental health crises and substance use that millions of Americans are facing.

This law is needed today more than ever. Americans report increasing anxiety and depression and increased use of alcohol and other substances. One in five adults struggles with mental illness. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14, and earlier this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that found that four out of ten high school students say they feel constant sad or hopeless during COVID-19. 19 pandemic. The opioid crisis is also continuing to devastate families and communities across the country – 108,000 people lost their lives to drug overdoses last year.

The Hope for Mental Health and Wellbeing Hope Act will help restore hope for millions of Americans. The legislation strengthens and expands more than 30 critical programs that collectively support mental health care and the prevention of disorders, care, treatment, and rehabilitation in communities across the nation.

As the nation prepares for the release of the National 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Rescue Code next month, HR 7666 provides key crisis response efforts by establishing the Behavioral Health Crisis Coordination Office. substance abuse and mental health (SAMHSA) and requiring the development of best practices for crisis response. The legislation also continues to invest in critical mental health services and the use of substances that block grants to countries, territories and tribes.

The Restoration of Hope Act includes important provisions to meet the challenges of the national opioid epidemic – expanding and providing timely access to life-saving treatment for opioid-related disorders by removing barriers to treatment. It includes Representative Tonko’s MAT Act, which eliminates the waiver of X, a onerous registration requirement that sets random ceilings for the number of patients a provider can treat for an opioid disorder using buprenorphine.

This bill also establishes a requirement for one-time, eight-hour training in the treatment and identification of violations in the use of substances, which suppliers must complete before their first registration or renewal of a license to grant controlled substances.

HR 7666 also helps to strengthen the capacity and training of the behavioral health workforce. It also increases access to care and coverage for mental health and substance use disorders by applying the Mental Health Parity Act to state and local government employees, such as teachers and front-line workers.

The legislation also supports the mental health of children and young people. He continues to invest in integrating behavioral health into pediatric primary care through access to pediatric mental health grants. The bill also improves research at the National Institutes of Health on the cognitive, physical and socio-emotional impact of modern technology and multimedia on babies, children and adolescents.

It also addresses the needs of older youth by providing suicide prevention and other mental health support and substance use services for higher education students through Gareth Lee Smith Memorial Act programs.

And this will ensure that government Medicaid programs have the resources to implement and strengthen school mental health services, while maintaining continuity of coverage for young people involved in justice. These important provisions will increase children’s access to care.

The scope and scope of this bipartisan legislation will help support the mental health and well-being of millions of Americans, their families and communities for years to come.

I call on my colleagues to support HR 7666.


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