Presidential races

GOP rep has ‘hope’ for Clinton’s mental health plan

Greg Nash

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) says he “absolutely” sees the potential for bipartisan cooperation on Hillary Clinton’s mental health agenda.

{mosads}Murphy, who spearheaded legislation approved by the House, said Congress must act swiftly on reforming mental healthcare before its next recess and November’s elections.

“We have to get it done by the end of September, because my fear is if we don’t, the whole thing dies and we have to start all over again.”

Clinton’s campaign on Monday outlined a wide-ranging strategy for dealing with America’s mental health challenges.

“The next generation must grow up knowing that mental health is a key component of overall health and there is no shame, stigma or barriers to seeking out care,” Clinton’s plan reads.

Clinton’s agenda includes policies aimed at helping drug and alcohol addicts, struggling military veterans, and those suffering from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

It would expand access to medical services and prevention, as well as emphasize law enforcement training “prioritizing treatment over jail.”

Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, additionally pledged to coordinate national efforts like a suicide prevention campaign headed by the surgeon general.

“The part of this that I think is very helpful is integrating physical and mental health,” Murphy told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday. “It is supremely important to have these work together. Her bill emphasizes peer support, and that is OK, but those aren’t treatment providers.”

The House last month overwhelmingly passed a mental health reform package that Republicans cast as their response to mass shootings.

Murphy crafted the measure, which passed 422-2 after multiple compromises and revisions.

The bill aims to improve the oversight and effectiveness of federal mental health programs and authorizes a range of grants for treatment.

“Our mental health system in this country is a failure, and this is one of those times when we’re not gathered for a moment of silence, but a time of action,” Murphy said of the bill’s passage on July 6.

“We’re here, finally, to speak up for the last, the lost, the least and the lonely. That is those that suffer from mental illness.”

A parallel effort to Murphy’s bill in the Senate has stalled over gun-control language. It is unclear if a bill there can be signed into law this year.

Tags Democrats Hillary Clinton Mental health Politics Republicans

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