House Passes Version of Sen. Stabenow’s Bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a demonstration project of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow's bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act. The legislation expands access to community mental health services and strengthens the quality of care provided for those living with mental illness

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, said: "This is a critically important issue that touches all of our families in some way. I'm glad that the House was able to come together and act in a bipartisan way to strengthen mental health services. This is a step forward in the effort to reduce the stigma around mental illness and expand community mental health services for people living with mental illness. I hope the Senate will act quickly to make sure those living with mental illness can get the care they need to live successful lives."

The version of the legislation, included as an amendment to the House's so-called "doc-fix" (SGR) bill, establishes pilot programs in eight states to increase access to community mental health centers and improve the quality of care at those centers. Those programs could then be extended to other states. The bill now heads for a final vote in the Senate, where a version of the Excellence in Mental Health Act was passed as an amendment in the Senate Finance Committee.