Mental Health

Ensuring access to mental health care is one of Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano’s top priorities. Unfortunately, there is an enormous unmet need for mental health services throughout the nation and the 38th Congressional District. Young people, Hispanics, seniors, veterans — countless groups are not getting the mental health care that they need.

In late 1999, during a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Health Task Force meeting, information was represented from a recent study – The State of Hispanic Girls - that warranted immediate action. Nearly one in three Latina adolescents had seriously considered suicide -- the highest rate of any racial or ethnic group in the country! The same study also shows that fewer treatment and prevention services reach them than reach any other racial or ethnic group.

Responding to this data, Napolitano spearheaded a school-based Latina adolescent mental health program. Over the past several years, she has secured federal funding for this program, through which Pacific Clinics places counselors in six local middle schools, one high school, and one elementary school. The program has given relief to hundreds of students and their families.

Recognizing that this problem exists throughout our nation, Napolitano drafted legislation to deal primarily with the suicide crisis through a school-based, mental health services delivery system pilot project. This proposal is now part of the Mental Health in Schools Act, which Napolitano introduced in Congress in May of 2009.

Napolitano has also founded and currently co-chairs the Congressional Mental Health Caucus with Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA). There is a wide array of mental health issues that must be dealt with in a bipartisan fashion by dedicated Members of Congress working together with the mental health advocacy community. More than 70 members from both parties have joined the Caucus, and one of the Caucus’s top priorities is addressing the mental health needs of our nation’s veterans.

38th District Health Consortium

For information on Congresswoman Napolitano's Health Consortium, click here.

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