Mar 10 2021
Senators Deb Fischer and Tina Smith Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Create Mental Health Dashboard
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) reintroduced the Achieving Thorough Transparency & Accessibility for Information Navigation (ATTAIN) on Mental Health Act. This bipartisan legislation would create a user-friendly online dashboard to assist applicants in identifying federal grants that support mental health.
“COVID-19 has worsened our country’s mental health crisis, making it more important than ever that Americans have access to support. This is especially true in rural communities where resources are often limited. Our bipartisan legislation will address this challenge by making it easier to identify and apply for critical mental health grants,” said Senator Fischer.
“In this moment, it's especially important that we take every possible step to help people access the mental health care they need. For almost a year now, we've been grappling with the public health and economic crises of COVID-19. The challenges that the pandemic has presented feel very personal and can take a real toll on one's mental health. It's affecting our jobs, our family's well-being, our health and so much more. The bipartisan ATTAIN Mental Health Act will improve access to mental health care by helping organizations understand guidelines for federal mental health grant funding. I'll be working to move it forward,” said Senator Smith.
Support for the ATTAIN on Mental Health Act:
"Law enforcement agencies are faced with providing mental health services. In fact, county jails and State prisons are the nation’s largest provider of mental health services and many rely on Federal resources to access mental health services. This bill, which would create a user-friendly and publicly assessable website about Federal mental health grants, will ensure that any law enforcement agency, regardless of size, will have ready access to the latest information about available Federal resources,” said Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police.
“APA is pleased to support The ATTAIN Mental Health Act again this Congress, as it is a good first step to ensure that mental health resources and funding are more easily accessible to more communities in need. As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, we have seen an increase in rates of anxiety, depression, suicide and other mental illnesses. Providing states, localities and other organizations with easy-to-access information regarding available federal funding for mental health programs will help them meet the increasing need for treatment faster,” said American Psychiatric Association President Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H.
“At Ease USA is committed to providing access to confidential trauma treatment and therapeutic support for active military, veterans and their loved ones regardless of their ability to pay. As a small non-profit, AEU does not have the staff to devote to grant research. A central dashboard will enable us to quickly research grants that will help our clients across Nebraska get the help they need as they navigate the impact of PTSD on their lives,” said Beth Kramer, Executive Director of At Ease USA.
The bill would establish an interactive, web-based dashboard to allow potential applicants from a variety of sectors across our communities – such as state and local educational agencies, nonprofits, faith and community-based organizations, mental health treatment facilities, municipal governments, or first responders – to review eligibility and status information for federal mental health grant funding across multiple agencies. The legislation would task HHS with developing this online tool in a collaborative federal interagency effort.
The legislation has been endorsed by The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
Read the full text of the bill here.