Legislative Advocacy for Mental Health and Addiction
Today, drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Continuing to treat addiction differently than other brain disorders or chronic diseases inhibits our nation’s ability to truly address the drug crisis and provide patients with the highest quality treatment. Similar to other chronic diseases, substance abuse and mental health disorders require comprehensive, evidence-based treatment in order to achieve positive outcomes and build toward recovery.
To better address this devastating public health epidemic, we need to break down regulatory barriers to evidence-based, patient-centered care. To do this, Centerstone is advocating for the following policy solutions:
- Advancing key legislative priorities to improve behavioral health – read our 2019 legislative priorities.
- Incenting quality care and evidence based services – read our comments to the US Senate Finance Committee
- Advancing zero suicide pathways in all health system – learn more about our Zero Suicide pathways
Advocate for 3-digit Mental Health Crisis Line
The National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act—signed into law Aug. 14, 2018—required the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to look at the potential of designating a three-digit dialing code (referred to as an N11 number) for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis phone system.
The FCC’s deadline to report its recommendations to Congress is Aug. 14, 2019.
Join us in taking Action:
Congress and the FCC could change the way we deliver mental health care in this country. By establishing a national number for mental health and suicide crises, we come closer to a breakthrough to support those who may be in pain and on a journey toward a tragic outcome.
Call Your Elected Official to Support a 3-digit Mental Health Crisis Line:
To contact your Congressional Representative, click here or call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (a switchboard operator will connect you directly with your lawmaker’s office. You do not need to know his or her names; you can simply provide the switchboard with the county you live in).
Hello, my name is (name, city you live in). I am calling to share my support for the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. With suicide rates up 33 percent since 1999, a dedicated, easy-to-recall, three-digit hotline for mental health and suicide crises is more urgent than ever. Establishing a national number for mental health and suicide crises, could be a game changer for those struggling to overcome mental illness. Thank you for your consideration.
(Note: if the staffer says they already have signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill, simply thank them for their leadership!)
Over the past year, Centerstone has met with Congressional offices on this topic, submitted comments to the FCC, and on July 29th met with FCC Chairman Pai to discuss the urgent need for this line.
Currently, we are continuing our work with elected officials, advocating that Congress make the N11 line a reality.
Read more about why we need a mental health 3-digit hotline.
– The Crisis Next Door (from The White House and Office of National Drug Control Policy) Share your story by uploading a video about how you overcame addiction, volunteered at a recovery center, or worked as a family to help a loved one get on the path to recovery.
News and Opinion
As news stories and opinion pieces are made available, and when appropriate, Centerstone policy staff will share them to help keep you fully informed as to what is going on in our nation’s capital regarding all behavioral health topics.
- August 15, 2019 CEO David Guth’s Statement on FCC Report
- August 7, 2019 Mental Health Needs Its Own 3-Digit Hotline
- July 19, 2019 Call Your Senator: An Opportunity to Advocate for Mental Health
- April 26, 2019 New Grants Could Help Destigmatize Addiction in Indiana
- February 21, 2019 Mental Health Access Improvement Act
- January 30, 2019 Centerstone VP Testifies on Addiction Recovery Centers
- November 9, 2018 Three Ways Elected Leaders Can Change Health Care
- August 20, 2018 A Call for Your Advocacy: Senate Slated to Vote on Opioid Package in Coming Weeks
- June 21, 2018 Statement from CEO David Guth on OPPS Act (David Guth, Centerstone)
- June 20, 2018 House Passes Bill to Align SUD Rules with HIPAA Privacy Rule (HealthIT Now)
- June 18, 2018 Take Action: to Combat Addiction (Dr. Rick Shelton)
- May 29, 2018 Honor Mental Health Month by Rededicating Commitment to Technology-Enabled Treatment and Support (HealthIT Now)
- May 9, 2018 Part 2 Part 2 (Politico)
- May 9, 2018 House Debates Bill to Align SUD Rules with HIPAA Privacy Rule (HealthIT Security)
- April 30, 2018 Ky. Leaders Back McConnell’s Effort To Address Effect Of Opioids On Workforce (WFPL)
- April 30, 2018 McConnell: Senate Likely to Consider Anti-Opioid Package (US News)
- April 30, 2018 McConnell: Senate likely to consider anti-opioid package (Washington Post)
- April 13, 2018 Watch David Guth’s Testimony on Opioid Crisis Before Congressional Committee
- April 12, 2018 Centerstone CEO Testifies on Opioid Crisis before Congressional Committee
- April 4, 2018 Using our nation’s resources to provide care (Dr. Bob Vero, CEO of Centerstone Tennessee)
- March 29, 2018 Opioid Epidemic Gets Billions in Appropriations: Now What? (Centerstone’s policy staff)
- March 23, 2018 FY2018 Omnibus Spending Bill’s Affect On Addiction (Centerstone’s policy staff)
- March 21, 2018 David Guth’s Statement on Opioid Crisis Hearing
- March 19, 2018 White House Includes HITN Opioid Safety Alliance Priorities in Outline of New Initiatives to Combat Opioid Misuse (HealthIT Now)
- March 19, 2018 Health and Wellness: Opioid Crisis Efforts Continue In Washington (Centerstone’s policy staff)
- March 9, 2018 House to hold two-day hearing to consider more than 20 opioid bills (CNN)
- March 8, 2018 Opioid use disorder in the United States: Diagnosed prevalence by payer, age, sex, and state (Milliman)
- February 22, 2018 Combating pill mills: Establishing standards for addiction treatment with Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers (Medical News)
- December 29, 2017 Evaluating barriers to addiction treatment (Medical News)
Lauren Conaboy, Vice President of National Policy