Kuster Questions Mental Health Experts as Energy and Commerce Committee Considers Legislative Solutions to Improve Mental Health During Crisis
Hopkinton, NH – Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) participated in a virtual Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on legislative solutions to improve mental health during times of crisis. During the hearing titled, “High Anxiety and Stress: Legislation to Improve Mental Health During Crisis,” Kuster and her committee colleagues heard from Former Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, Founder of the Kennedy Forum; Dr. Arthur C. Evans, Jr., CEO of the American Psychological Association; Dr. Jeffrey L. Geller, President of American Psychiatric Association and University of Massachusetts Medical School Professor; and Arriana Gross, National Youth Advisory Board Member of the Sandy Hook Promise Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club.
“Americans across the country are struggling with increases in depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief as a result of COVID-19,” said Kuster. “In New Hampshire, the effects of the opioid epidemic are being further compounded by this public health and economic crisis - putting our strained public health resources to the test.”
“We cannot lose ground on the progress we have made in combatting the opioid epidemic, and must continue to support our behavioral health providers, invest in our public health safety net, and foster innovation in care delivery so that people can access the services they need,” Kuster continued. “I am proud to support legislation to ensure Americans can access the resources necessary to promote mental wellness and continue to build on our progress in fighting the opioid epidemic.”
Kuster has repeatedly supported legislation to improve access to addiction treatment services and mental health care providers. Last year, she reintroduced the Humane Correctional Health Care Act to repeal the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion and allow health care to follow an individual through the justice system, so they can access mental health and substance use disorder treatment. As the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, she has held roundtable discussions with task force colleagues on mental health and addiction parity as well as addressing the dual crises of COVID-19 and the opioid epidemic.
Watch Rep. Kuster’s line of questioning here.