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 2018 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
Take Action (February-March 2019)
– Write a message to your legislators in support of mental and behavioral health treatment, programs, and funding.
- Ask your Representative to advocate on behalf of efforts to combat the opioid crisis:
- Find your representatives’ contact information.
- Call and/or email your representative.
- Share with them this message: I am calling/emailing from [your city, state] to urge my member of congress to vote and advocate for the advancement of efforts to combat the opioid crisis through advancing the behavioral health workforce. Today, 50% of rural counties in America have no clinicians to address mental health or substance use disorders. Fortunately, the Mental Health Access Improvement Act (S.286/H.R.945) would recognize mental health counselors (MHC) and marriage and family therapists (MFT) as covered Medicare providers. Passing this bill, would be an immense stride in addressing our nation’s behavioral health workforce shortage and getting patients timely access to care when they need it most. Thank you.
– 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 informated as to what is going on in our nation’s capitol regarding all behavioral health topics.
- 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
Monica Nemec, National Policy Associate