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Campaign Honors Enzi, Stark, Patrick - Thursday, March 19, 2009

Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter (left) presents Campaign Award to Massachusetts First Lady Diane Patrick, March 18, 2009.

The Campaign for Mental Health Reform, a coalition of 18 national mental health organizations, presented three awards at a dinner held in Washington, DC, on March 18, 2009. Honored were Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Representative Pete Stark (D-CA), and Massachusetts First Lady Diane Patrick. Representative Stark and Senator Enzi were recognized for their “enduring leadership,” while Mrs. Patrick won praise for her “inspiring leadership.”

 
At the dinner, 175 Campaign members and supporters celebrated passage in the last Congress of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act. Together, these legislative victories helped to bring equitable insurance coverage to Americans of every age. Senator Enzi helped secure passage of the long sought mental health parity act, which affects private insurance, while Representative Stark was instrumental in bringing an equitable co-payment for mental health services to the Medicare program. Both lawmakers are positioned to play critical roles in the health reform effort underway in the current Congress. Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), a leader in the parity effort, presented the Campaign’s award to Representative Stark. Senator Enzi’s award was presented by his fellow Wyoming Republican, Senator John Barrasso, who is a physician.
 
Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter presented the Campaign’s award to her Massachusetts counterpart, movingly noting the example set by Mrs. Patrick in both seeking treatment for a 2007 episode of depression and publicly acknowledging the reason for her six-week absence from the public eye. Mrs. Patrick has since returned to her law practice and the official duties she performs as the wife of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. She regularly receives letters from writers across the country telling her that her example inspired them to seek treatment and be open about their own illnesses.  
 
The Campaign for Mental Health Reform was formed in 2003 to provide a united advocacy voice on selected federal policy issues. Recognizing that “mental health is integral to health,” the Campaign is today focused on full inclusion of mental health in a reformed American health system.
 
For more information, contact William Emmet, 703-836-3066 or bill.emmet@mhreform.org.
 

Campaign Awards Dinner March 18 To Honor Enzi, Stark, more - Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Campaign for Mental Health Reform will hold its 2009 Awards Dinner on Wednesday, March 18, at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill.   Honorees at this year’s Dinner include Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA).   The evening’s MC is Jacki Lyden of National Public Radio. Mrs. Rosalynn Carter and Mrs. Betty Ford co-chair the Honorary Host Committee for the event. Proceeds from the Dinner help support the Campaign’s advocacy agenda, which this year is focused on full inclusion of mental health in health reform legislation now being shaped in Congress.
 
Senator Enzi is Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee chaired by Senator Edward Kennedy, recipient of an award at the 2008 Dinner. Congressman Stark is Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. Both Enzi and Stark played prominent roles in successful efforts in the last Congress to bring parity to coverage of mental illnesses in private insurance plans and in Medicare.
 
The Campaign Awards Dinner is a unique gathering of policy makers and advocates from across the mental health community. In addition to Mrs. Carter and Senator Kennedy, past awardees include Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Gordon Smith (R-OR), both now retired, and Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI).
 
Tickets for the Dinner will soon be on sale. For more information on tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jamie Post by email at jamie@natalieshear.com
 
Watch this space for new announcements about the evening’s exciting program!
 

Campaign Director Testifies in Senate - Thursday, January 22, 2009
Tells HELP Committee Mental Health and Overall Health Are Intertwined
 
William Emmet, Director of the Campaign for Mental Health Reform, was one of five witnesses at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on Thursday, January 22. Emmet’s testimony was an overview of the interplay between mental health and substance use disorders and other chronic conditions. The hearing, chaired by Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin, was one of a series scheduled to examine prevention, wellness, and public health strategies as part of the health reform effort now underway in Congress and the Obama administration. 
 
Emmet told the Committee that people with mental illness in the public mental health system die on average 25 years earlier than their counterparts in general society, and he went on to explain that the vast majority of these early death are from preventable causes, including those related to smoking and obesity, to other subjects covered by witnesses at the hearing.
 
Emmet’s testimony, written with input from numerous Campaign partners, also highlighted the degree to which depression worsens outcomes for a range of chronic conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.
 
In introducing witnesses, Senator Harkin said, “As Mr. Emmet knows very well, mental health is too often the neglected step-child in our health reform agenda. It should be obvious that mental health is integral to physical health. In so many cases, you can’t have the latter without the former, and legislation drafted by this committee needs to reflect that reality.”
 
Video of the full hearing and the witnesses’ written testimony are available by clicking this link: http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2009_01_22/2009_01_22.html
 

Campaign Releases Principles for Healthcare Reform - Monday, September 15, 2008

The Campaign has developed principles for the inclusion of mental health in healthcare reform initiatives.

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Campaign to be Recognized at Conventions - Wednesday, August 06, 2008

 The Campaign for Mental Health Reform will be honored at a special luncheon on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 during the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver. The luncheon, presented by AstraZeneca, will be attended by The Creative Coalition's delegation of observers to the Convention.

 The Campaign for Mental Health Reform will be honored at a special luncheon on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 during the upcoming Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. The luncheon, presented by AstraZeneca, will be attended by The Creative Coalition’s delegation of observers to the Convention.
 
The Creative Coalition’s delegation of observers – led by Co-Chairs Tim Daly, Kerry Washington, Tom Fontana – will include Richard Schiff and Giancarlo Esposito.
 
For more information, please visit The Creative Coalition's Web site at www.thecreativecoaliton.org or call (212) 512-5876
 
The Creative Coalition does not endorse or raise funds for political parties or candidates.
 
 

The Other Wounded (Washington Post, 11-6-07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Volunteer Therapists Aid War-Stressed Families and Partners of Soldiers.

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Equal Coverage for Mental Health? (Washington Post, 11-6-07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Many States Require Parity, and Congress May Order It Nationwide.

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War’s Assault on the Mind (Chicago Tribune, 11/15/07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

In a phenomenon that strikes many strife-torn societies, Somalis increasingly retreat into mental illness.

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More Returning Soldiers Cite Mental Health Issues - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Army Medical Study: Increasing Numbers of Returning Soldiers Cite Relationship Problems.

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VA Struggles With Vets' Mental Health (CBS News, 11-14-07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

CBS News Investigates: Mental Health Numbers Reveal An Agency Under Siege.

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Akaka Veterans' Mental Health Bill Approved by Committee (Hawaii Reporter, 11-14-07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Legislation Inspired by First-Hand Accounts from Veterans and Their Families.

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Medicaid Cuts Could Cost Mass. $100m (Boston Globe, 11-13-07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Many low-income and disabled would lose out on services; rules may hurt universal-care push.

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Researchers Gauge Mental Health of Iraq Vets (National Public Radio, 11-13-07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"All Things Considered"

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Mental Health Is a Public Issue (Natchez Democrat, 11-11-07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

By Democrat Editorial Board

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Paying a High Price for Mental Health (U.S. News & World Report, 10-25-07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Paltry Insurance Coverage Could Soon Get a Boost.

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Troops' Mental Distress Tracked (Washington Post, 11/14/07) - Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Early Checkups Find Fewer Problems Than Later Ones.

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