Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force Statement on Mental Health Action Day 2021
Washington, May 20, 2021
**The Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force held a roundtable last month on substance use prevention during COVID-19, the first event of the 117th Congress**
Washington, D.C. — Today, on Mental Health Action Day 2021, the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), David Trone (D-MD), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), released the following statement:
“Mental health care providers across the country are struggling to keep up with increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is critical for the health of our nation and our communities that mental health care is accessible to all who need it. Congress cannot turn its back on those struggling.
“Today, on Mental Health Action Day, we are committing ourselves to advance meaningful, evidence-based policies to expand access to high-quality, affordable mental health services and treatment. We will continue working on a bipartisan basis to build the national, regional, and local health care infrastructure to ensure mental health resources are accessible long after this public health crisis.”
The Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force merges Trone’s Freshmen Working Group on Addiction and the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, which was co-chaired by Reps. Kuster and Fitzpatrick in the 116th Congress and founded by Rep. Kuster in 2015.
The purpose of the new Task Force is to combine efforts to make the most progress possible on addiction and mental health in the 117th Congress. The forthcoming 2021 Legislative Agenda will address these dual public health crises that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The group will host regular meetings with stakeholders, attend site visits, and create policies that will save lives.