“Underserved communities, like Uvalde, are desperately in need of mental health resources-- now and well into the future.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Texas Insider Report) — “Underserved communities like Uvalde are desperately in need of mental health care resources – now and well into the future. Unfortunately, mental health clinicians and resources in these communities are few and far between,” said Congressman Tony Gonzales (TX-23,) as he introduced the "Undertaking Needed Investments in Therapy, Education & De-escalation Act," or the UNITED Act.
“In too many rural areas, patients must drive multiple hours roundtrip for access to inpatient care. That’s why I am proud to introduce the UNITED Act to address a solution to the mental health crisis in America,” said Cong. Gonzales, who initiated the effort in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting.
The congressman said his legislation would commit much-needed mental health resources to underserved communities across the nation, and that the UNITED Act would deliver funding to nine key areas, including:
- Youth Suicide Prevention efforts
- Crisis Care Response & Coordination
- A lifeline Crisis Call Center Program
- Extending Emergency Telehealth Cervices, and
- Establishing Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Grants
- The Suicide Prevention Resource Center to allow state and local-level partnerships to develop more effective suicide prevention measures.
- The Mental & Behavioral Health Outreach and Education on College Campuses program to reduce the stigma associated with mental health services and increase students’ chances of academic success.
- The Garrett Lee Smith State and Tribal Youth Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Grant Program to expand state and tribal youth suicide, mental health illness, substance abuse prevention, and treatment and service programs.
- The Community Services Mental Health Services Block Grant Programs to provide comprehensive local-level mental health services.
- Grant programs that assist adult and youth with serious mental illnesses and emotional disturbances.
- Mental health awareness training grants to train individuals (e.g., school personnel, emergency first responders, law enforcement, veterans, armed services members and their families) to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, particularly serious mental illness (SMI) and/or serious emotional disturbances (SED).
- Mental and Behavioral Health Education and Training Grants to support the recruitment of students whose education and clinical experience relate to mental and behavioral health professions.