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May 21, 2002

Bipartisan Coalition of House Members Supports
White House Commission on Mental Illness Treatment Services

A bipartisan group of House members, led by Ms. Kaptur (D-OH), Mrs. Roukema (R-NJ), Mr. Kennedy (D-RI), Mr. Norwood (R-GA), Mr. Defazio (D-OR), Mr. Greenwood (R-PA), and Mr. Smith (R-NJ), has introduced a resolution of support for President Bush's recently announced national commission to examine the current gaps in the public mental health system. H. Con Res. 402 commends the President for initiating the commission and cites the range of tragic consequences associated with untreated mental illness: homelessness, incarceration, family breakdown, lost productivity and drug and alcohol addiction. H. Con. Res. 402 also recognizes the need for a coordinated strategy to improve coordination and quality of services for children and adults with severe mental illnesses.

ACTION NEEDED

NAMI advocates are strongly encouraged to contact their member of Congres and urge them to cosponsor H. Con. Res. 402. All members of Congress can be reached by telephone through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Visit Congress.org for other contact methods.

NAMI Letter to President Bush

Please read this letter from NAMI President Jim McNulty congratulating the President both on the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and his announced support for federal insurance parity legislation. NAMI members are encouraged to express their support for the President's initiatives on mental illness by sending similar messages to the White House. Currently, interests opposed to parity (including business groups and insurance companies) are flooding the White House urging the President to reject efforts to require health plans to cover treatment for mental illness on the same terms and conditions as all other illnesses.

It is critically important that the White House hear from NAMI members about the importance of ending insurance discrimination. The President can be reached through the White House comment line at 202-456-1414 or by e-mail at: president@whitehouse.gov.

 

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