Advocacy E-News November 6, 2015

November 6, 2015


House Acts on Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

On Thursday, November 5th, The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646)

advanced from the Health Subcommittee to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee for

consideration. To become law, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act requires

approval by the Energy and Commerce Committee, the House of Representatives, the Senate,

and President Obama.


Read the full Bill markup here.


Of note the Bill:

– Awards funding to states and local jurisdictions to implement, treatment programs, called

“assisted outpatient treatment” (AOT) laws, known as Involuntary Outpatient

Commitment (IOC) in New Jersey page 50;

– Promotes appropriate treatment for individuals with a mental illness by treating their

caregivers as personal representatives for purposes of HIPAA privacy regulations. Page


– Creates an Assistant Secretary of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders to

coordinate efforts and elevate the importance of mental health and severe mental illness

in the federal government page 4;

– Clarifies the role of Protection and Advocacy organizations for Individuals With Mental

Illness page 127;

– Includes a requirement that the Interagency Council on Serious Mental Illness develop a

plan to eliminate the incarceration of nonviolent offenders with mental illness within ten

years, and direct the savings to prevention, early intervention, and integrated services

included in the proposal page 93.