Dakota Center for Independent Living

Help Stop the Helping Families in Mental Crisis Act

The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 (also known as the Murphy Bill or H.R. 2646) passed through the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. This bill could be dangerous and has been gaining public support.

Provisions in this bill strip away many of the civil and human rights of people with psychiatric disabilities under the guise of violence prevention. This bill is based on incorrect assumptions about people labeled with psychiatric disabilities, and it perpetuates stereotypes and misinformation.

Here are a few ways the bill would be harmful to people with disabilities:

  • Change the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which could threaten effective programs such as peer support.
  • Promote involuntary treatment (called “Assisted Outpatient Treatment”), limited federal aid for community mental health services to states that fail to have laws conforming to new standards.
  • Increase institutionalization by modifying the Institutions for Mental Diseases exclusion, which would allow Medicaid payment for nursing homes and hospitals.
  • Limit the work in which Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness is permitted to engage.
  • Create lower standards of privacy for people with psychiatric diagnoses due to changes in HIPAA regulations.

This discriminatory bill can be stopped. It is currently in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. North Dakota is represented on this committee by Representative Kevin Cramer. Send him a letter and tell him not support the Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 (also known as the Murphy Bill or H.R. 2646).