U.S. Rep. Tim Mur­phy (R-Pa.) and co-spon­sor Rep. Ed­die Ber­nice John­son (D-Texas) have in­tro­duced a new ver­sion of the Help­ing Fam­i­lies in Men­tal Health Cri­sis Act.

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The re­vi­sion in­cludes a new HHS lead­er­ship post, as­sis­tant sec­re­tary for men­tal health and sub­stance­abuse dis­or­ders, and es­tab­lishes a na­tional men­tal health pol­icy lab­o­ra­tory. It also pro­vides for ad­di­tional psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal beds; pro­motes telepsy­chi­a­try for un­der­served and ru­ral ar­eas; au­tho­rizes an early in­ter­ven­tion pro­gram for peo­ple with or de­vel­op­ing schizophre­nia; fo­cuses on sui­cide pre­ven­tion; and gives states in­cen­tives to pro­vide al­ter­na­tives to in­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion. It would also pro­mote the use of tech­nol­ogy to bet­ter co­or­di­nate care with pri­mary-care physi­cians.

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