Murphy to Host Briefing on Committee Report: Federal Programs Addressing Severe Mental Illness

May 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, will hold a briefing next week to highlight the committee’s recent report on its investigation of federal programs addressing severe mental illness. The report follows a more than yearlong investigation reviewing the mental health resources and programs across the federal spectrum. The committee’s investigation began in January 2013, following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and against the backdrop of subsequent mass killings tied to untreated SMI at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., and Fort Hood, Texas. The briefing will take place on Thursday, May 29, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building and streamed live online here.

Chairman Murphy, a clinical psychologist, along with a handful of experts and families with lived experiences will participate in a discussion on the findings from the committee’s recent report and other developments related to the treatment of serious mental illness.

The report explains, “The committee’s inquiry has drawn attention to the importance of targeting funds for mental health to areas with the greatest impacts on public health and safety. … The findings of the committee’s investigation underscore the need to improve training for law enforcement and emergency medical services personnel on mental health issues. They also demonstrate the importance of training primary care physicians in mental healthcare… while working toward a better integration of psychiatric and primary care…”

“For decades, our country has failed families in mental health crises because we haven’t had the courage to confront the painful reality that individuals with severe and persistent schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major clinical depression are more likely to end up homeless, in prison, or dead by suicide than in appropriate psychiatric treatment,” said Murphy. “Our investigative work charts a path forward to close the significant gaps in inpatient and outpatient care, fix the outdated legal barriers to treatment, and rebuild a broken mental health system so SMI patients get life-saving treatment and recover.”

Details regarding the briefing will be posted here.

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