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Federal Action Alert

HR 2363 - Consumer-Run Peer Support Centers


For Immediate Release, August 8, 2001
Contact: Chris Marshall
703-524-7600


On June 28, a bipartisan coalition of House members led by Jim Greenwood (R-PA) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) introduced HR 2363, legislation that would establish regional consumer-run support centers to assist States, HMOs and other entities involved in the development of peer-support activities. This legislation was introduced along with a companion bill, HR 2364, that would extend evidence-based treatment such as PACT under the Medicaid Program. (For more information on HR 2364, go to the NAMI Web site at http://www.nami.org/update/20010708.html ) NAMI strongly supports both of these measures.

The Mental Illness Consumer-Run Services Support Act, HR 2363, is specifically designed to integrate the historical knowledge and experience of consumers in the development of peer-support programs that best meet the needs of persons with serious brain disorders. Passage of this critical legislation will potentially provide opportunities to support NAMI's peer support and educational programs such as Living with Schizophrenia and the upcoming Peer to Peer recovery program.

The Greenwood-Kaptur proposal would provide grants to establish 10 regional centers across the country that are consumer-run and intended to provide assistance in planning, providing and evaluating nonprofessional services to individuals with severe mental illnesses. The consumer-run centers authorized in this legislation would advise and assist State and local governments, HMOs, non-profit and other organizations on how to effectively invest in peer-run programs. HR 2363 designates that consumer-run programs supported with federal funds are to operate as complementary to, and not a substitute for, psychiatric treatment.

HR 2363 authorizes $5 million dollars for the development of the consumer-run regional centers for FY 2001, and extends authorized funding through FY 2005. As an authorization measure HR 2363 must first be passed and signed into law before Congress can allocate funding for these programs. A complete copy of the HR 2363 appears below.

ACTION NEEDED

All NAMI members and advocates are encouraged to contact their members of the House of Representatives and urge them to cosponsor HR 2363 and voice support for high quality consumer-run services as a complement to mental illness treatment.

HR 2363 has been referred to the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and currently has 31 cosponsors. For a list of cosponsors, please go to http://thomas.loc.gov and enter the bill number HR 2363 in the bill search area.

All members of the Congress can be reached at their district offices during the August recess or at their Capitol Hill offices. All district contact information can be obtained by going to www.congress.org and contact information for members' Capitol Hill offices can be obtained by calling 202-224-3121 or by going to "Write to Congress" on the NAMI Web site at http://www.nami.org/policy.htm


HR 2363

Mental Illness Consumer-Run Services Support Act (Introduced in the House)

107th CONGRESS

1st Session

H.R. 2363

To provide for the establishment of regional centers to assist State and local governments, health maintenance organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other organizations in the development of peer-support activities and other nonprofessional services to assist persons to cope with and overcome persistent mental illnesses.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 28, 2001

Mr. GREENWOOD (for himself, Ms. KAPTUR, Ms. LEE, Mr. STARK, Mr. BONIOR, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. LANTOS, Mr. BALDACCI, Mrs. JONES of Ohio, Mrs. TAUSCHER, Mrs. JOHNSON of Connecticut, Mr. ENGLISH, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. TOWNS, Ms. HART, Mr. SHOWS, Ms. MCCARTHY of Missouri, Mr. FROST, Mr. ANDREWS, Mr. DEFAZIO, and Mrs. ROUKEMA) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

A BILL

To provide for the establishment of regional centers to assist State and local governments, health maintenance organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other organizations in the development of peer-support activities and other nonprofessional services to assist persons to cope with and overcome persistent mental illnesses.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Mental Illness Consumer-Run Services Support Act'.

SEC. 2. CENTERS TO PROMOTE CONSUMER-RUN SUPPORT SERVICES.

(a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this section referred to as the `Secretary') shall make awards of grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to public and nonprofit private entities to establish 10 regional centers that will assist State and local governments, health maintenance organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other organizations in the development of peer-support activities and other nonprofessional services that serve as a compliment to, rather than a substitute for, psychiatric treatment to assist persons to cope with and overcome persistent mental illnesses.

(b) PREFERENCE IN MAKING AWARDS- In making awards under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give preference to applicants that--

(1) are consumer-run organizations;

(2) have experience in planning, providing, and evaluating services that are furnished to persons with mental illness by nonprofessional peers who have a history of mental illness; and

(3) follow established evidence-based practice with respect to consumer-run and peer support programs.

(c) GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION- The Secretary shall ensure that awards under subsection (a) with respect to regional centers are distributed equitably among the regions of the country and among urban and rural areas.

(d) APPLICATION- An award may be made under subsection (a) only if an application for the award is submitted to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and with such information as the Secretary may reasonably require.

(e) EVALUATION- An award may be made under subsection (a) only if the applicant involved agrees to submit to the Secretary an evaluation at the end of the program period regarding activities carried out under the award.

(f) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- For the purpose of carrying out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2002 through 2005. 


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