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Stephanie Pellitt

Policy and Advocacy Associate

Mental Health First Aid Act Passes House Subcommittee

September 15, 2016 | Mental Health First Aid | Comments
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The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health amended and approved the Mental Health First Aid Act (H.R. 1877) on Monday afternoon. The amended bill would authorize $15 million in funding to provide mental health awareness training to teachers and school personnel, first responders, law enforcement officers, and veterans. This vote, a landmark achievement for this legislation, is the first of a multi-step bill approval process.

Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that teaches people the signs and symptoms of mental illness and addiction crisis. Congress has funded similar trainings for each of the last three fiscal years. The approved version of the Mental Health First Aid Act authorizes four years of funding at $15 million per year to expand access to these important trainings in communities across the country. These programs help participants to:

  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness;
  • Identify resources and services available in the community for individuals in need; and
  • Safely de-escalate crisis situations.

H.R. 1877 now awaits consideration and a vote by the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce.