Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ (WA-05) Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act (H.R. 7666). This legislative package is the most comprehensive effort to date designed to support communities providing care to people in need of hope and healing amid a worsening mental health crisis in America.
The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act will reauthorize key Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) programs to address the national mental health and substance use disorder crises. It also includes Rodgers’ bipartisan provision to reauthorize important programs established under the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Memorial Act, which support community-based youth and young adult suicide prevention efforts.
Cathy released the following statement after tonight’s vote:
“Today in America, children and young adults are in crisis. More than 100,000 people a year are dying from overdoses and fentanyl poisonings, crime is up, and there’s increasing violence in our schools. There’s an overwhelming sense of anxiety, fear, and isolation. It’s a call for action to turn despair into hope.
“That’s why I am leading to reauthorize these critical mental health and substance use programs before they expire this fall. The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act keeps the federal government out of decision-making for treatment and targets resources to state and local communities through block grants, so that local communities will have flexibility to meet the specific and unique needs to combat mental illness, addiction, and despair. By maintaining charitable choice, it also makes sure faith-based organizations can still compete on equal footing for federal funding. Finally, it ensures that precious taxpayer dollars are directed to stopping record-high overdose deaths through prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives.
“I am grateful for all my colleagues who led on many solutions in this bill, and for the strong bipartisan work that led to today’s passage in the People’s House. Our goal is to continue to build on this for stronger families, stronger communities, and a brighter future for all.”
In Eastern Washington, GLS Programs helped Washington State University bring additional mental health services to campus between 2016 and 2019. As a result, the university was able to implement campus-wide, collaborative trainings and help a growing number of students deal with the struggles of depression, anxiety, stress, and thoughts of suicide.
“The programs created under the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act have helped universities like ours implement campus-wide, collaborative programs to help students navigate depression, anxiety, stress, social isolation, and thoughts of suicide,” said Dr. Ellen Taylor, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Washington State University. “We are grateful for Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers’ leadership and glad to see this important work in support of our students’ mental health continue.”
Additionally, the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act will:
- Target resources to children and young adults suffering from the mental health crisis and substance use disorders.
- Support care for maternal health and substance use disorders at every stage of pregnancy and motherhood.
- Prevent the Biden administration from using taxpayers dollars to purchase crack pipes.
- Reduce the deficit by $200 million by requiring Pharmacy Benefit Managers be transparent about the rebate system.
The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act, which includes these critical wins for mental health and substance abuse services in Eastern Washington, will now go to the Senate for consideration.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Rodgers’ provision to reauthorize the GLS Memorial Act.
CLICK HERE to watch Cathy’s remarks from the House floor earlier today.