Contact Your Senators Today
To Urge Mental Health Vote!

Contact Your Senators Today To Urge Mental Health Vote!

This important message is reprinted from The American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP):  



It is not too late; we still need you to contact both of your U.S. Senators today on behalf of CAPs and your patients []. It is urgent that you contact [] both of your Senators today and ask them to bring S. 2680, the “Mental Health Reform Act of 2016,”[] to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible. S. 2680 is a strong bill that includes coverage for children and adolescents in programmatic activities, and should be further strengthened by including loan relief provisions for CAPs. Please contact both of your Senators today [] urging them to bring S. 2680, the “Mental Health Reform Act of 2016,” to the Senate floor for a “yes” vote.


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE ADJOURNS FOR THE YEAR, ADVANCES BILLS IMPORTANT TO CAPS. This morning, the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health held“An Examination of Federal Mental Health Parity Laws and Regulations.” [] The hearing allowed members of the subcommittee to question witnesses on ways to improve parity laws. Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), a champion of mental health parity, took the opportunity to examine ways to strengthen enforcement of parity laws and increase access to care due to the lack of mental health providers.

In the last few days of the legislative session, California advanced two bills of importance to AACAP members. AACAP, along with the California Regional Organization, Cal-ACAP, sent a letter [] to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) asking him to veto one of these bills, SB 253 [], which aims to amend the oversight of psychotropic medication monitoring for California’s foster care population, the largest such population in the country. This bill was advanced to the Governor just days after the State Auditor released a report on California’s foster care system, which cited AACAP’s prescribing guidelines for foster youth. This bill is the wrong approach at this time.

Also before Gov. Brown is a bill that would require juveniles to consult with legal counsel prior to waiving his or her Miranda rights. Juveniles could not for any reason waive this right to consult with legal counsel. AACAP, again with Cal-ACAP, cited AACAP’s policy statement “Interviewing and Interrogating Juvenile Suspects” [] in a letter to Gov. Brown [] asking he sign into law SB 1052 []. This AACAP policy statement was cited by the bill sponsors as to why such legislation is critical to protect the legal rights of juveniles. Gov. Brown has not yet taken action on either bill, but AACAP continues to closely monitor these important state issues.


On Wednesday, August 31, AACAP member Michael Naylor, MD, Director of the Illinoius Behavioral Health and Welfare Program, was a key panelist on a policy forum at the 20th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. Dr. Naylor spoke on a panel – which included Commissioner Rafael López of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) – on trauma-informed care titled “Ensuring Access to Trauma-Informed Evidence-Based Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care: The Role of Psychotropic Medication.”

On the same day, AACAP members Lisa Durette, MD, and Michael Tanner, MD, were invited and participated in a mental health roundtable discussion hosted by Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV) with special guest Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA). Drs. Durette and Tanner were the only CAPs present at the roundtable and successfully represented the subspecialty and our legislative priorities to these influential Members of Congress.

Best Regards,

The AACAP Government Affairs Team

Email us at or call us at 202-966-7300

Ronald Szabat, JD, LLM, Director of Government Affairs & Clinical Practice
Michael Linskey, Deputy Director of Congressional & Political Affairs
Zach Kahan, Advocacy & PAC Manager
Emily Rohlffs, State Advocacy and ROCAP Engagement Manager

2019-03-04T19:55:57-04:00September 23rd, 2016|Mental Health|

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