Loebsack Statement on White House Mental Health Conference Print
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 12:55

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement on President Obama and Vice President Biden hosting a National Conference on Mental Health at the White House this morning.  The conference brought together mental health advocates, educators, health care providers and others to discuss how they can work together to reduce the stigma of mental illness and help those struggling.

“I, like so many others, have personally felt the effects of mental illness in my family, having grown up with a mother who struggled with mental illness.   I applaud the President for hosting this conference to bring together experts in the field and help lift the stigma that many people associate with mental illnesses. There are too many people struggling with mental illnesses in the shadows and we must continue to work to ensure they get the help they need.

“As a military parent, I strongly believe we must do more to address the mental health needs of our servicemembers and veterans.  As a former educator, I also believe it’s particularly important that we provide our young people with the resources and support they need.  That is why I have introduced the Reducing Barriers to Learning Act to increase access to the professionals in our schools that can help students who are struggling in any way.”

Congressman Loebsack has been a champion for expanding mental health care coverage.  He has worked on many pieces of legislation, including:

·         Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act, which worked to end discrimination against patients seeking treatment for mental illness;

·         Excellence in Mental Health Act, which would improve access to community mental and behavioral health services;

·         Mental Health in Schools Act, which would increase access to mental health services on-site in schools.

He has also led the way as a member of the House Armed Service Committee to ensure that the men and women serving our nation in the military have access to mental health care and suicide prevention resources.  In 2011, his legislation, the Embedded Mental Health Providers for Reserves Act (HR 948) was signed into law as part of the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

###