Call Your Representative on May 2nd
Dear Valued AACAP Members:
We need your help this Wednesday, May 2nd! As the bipartisan push for mental health equity continues in the U.S. House of Representatives, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is joining national advocacy organizations and the offices of Congressmen Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Jim Ramstad (R-MN) to use National Parity Day this Wednesday May 2nd as an opportunity to push Congress to finally support the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, HR 1424, for mental health parity.
This bill, supported by a bipartisan group of representatives, is a new version of the legislation that Paul Wellstone championed for over a decade in Congress. With bipartisan support and new leadership in Congress, chances for passing the mental health parity bill are better than ever. The mental health parity bill is awaiting action in several House committees. Unless it passes through these committees and is sent to the House floor in the next two months, chances for its passage in 2007 are slim.
Here's how you can help. On Wednesday, please call the national parity hotline (1-866-PARITY4) and ask to be connected to your member of Congress. The message to your Representative is simple:
"I am calling to urge you to support the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, HR 1424. This is a bipartisan bill that is cosponsored by a majority of the House members. It is common sense legislation that ends discrimination against people suffering from mental illness and addiction. This bill is fair, just, and long overdue. Please support this bill and urge your colleagues to finally pass it out of the House this year."
Other Talking Points:
- Many major adult disorders have their onset in childhood, so the earlier the diagnosis and treatment the higher the quality and productivity of life.
- Enactment of a mental health parity law will make mental health and substance abuse services and treatment more affordable, thereby increasing access to treatment for children, adolescents and adults with mental illness.
Please let us know when you have contacted your Representative. Please contact the AACAP Dept. of Government Affairs at 800.333.7636, x. 128, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Thank you for your help! Because of your calls and emails, there has been tremendous support and co- sponsorship of the mental health parity bill. The next two months are critical and your help on Wednesday will make a big difference.
Thank you for your advocacy!
Kristin K. Ptakowski, Director
Elizabeth Rorick, Assistant Director
Ramon Gardenhire, Assistant Director for State Advocacy
Abby Schopick, Legislative Assistant