Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted with a bipartisan majority of her colleagues to pass a comprehensive package to address the mental health and substance use disorder crises impacting millions of Americans. More than 50% of U.S. adults will be diagnosed with a mental health or substance use disorder during their lifetime.
“Every day, I hear from Iowans about how their families have been devastated by the worsening mental health and substance use disorder crises, and this package will save lives by strengthening and expanding the programs that work,” said Rep. Axne. “I’ve secured inclusion of two bipartisan bills I introduced to prevent youth suicides and increase access to treatment for opioid addiction, and I’ll continue working in a bipartisan way to make sure that those who are struggling get the relief they need, fast.”
The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act will:
- Modernize and strengthen more than 30 programs that support mental health care and substance use disorder treatment, prevention, and recovery services.
- Increase access to methadone and other evidence-based treatments for opioid use disorders, which claimed a record number of lives last year.
- Help grow the behavioral health care workforce and increase access to mental health care and substance use disorder care and coverage.
- Expand access to mental health and substance use disorder services for young people.
- Strengthen Medicaid behavioral health services for children.
The bill also includes two bills Rep. Axne helped introduce. The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act would authorize an increase of more than $10 million annually to support community-based youth and young adult suicide prevention efforts and the Timely Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder Act would eliminate barriers to opioid addiction treatment that can make people wait a year before getting the help they need.
The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act bill text can be found here.
Rep. Axne has led efforts in the House to support the mental health of Americans, including authoring legislation to expand mental health care for rural veterans, which was signed into law by President Biden in June 2021.