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Most mental health funding is not targeted to those who need help the most and we must overhaul our system of care, Doris A. Fuller tells Washington Journal host Steven Scully on C-SPAN.

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With the election behind us and President Obama and a new Congress refocusing on the future, here are six federal mental health priorities that would improve the quality of countless lives and communities:us-capitol

    • LEADERSHIP at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that recognizes the biological basis of serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and makes the needs of those who suffer from them a priority instead of an afterthought 
    • MAINTENANCE of funding for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at current levels so the nation's mental illness research agency can continue the desperately needed support for study of the causes and treatment of severe mental illness 
    • A PROHIBITION on federally-funded “Protection and Advocacy” groups lobbying against state mental illness treatment law reforms and increased oversight to confirm they are actually fulfilling their mandate to protect those with mental illness against abuse and neglect 
    • FOLLOW-THROUGH on findings from the three-year Medicaid Emergency Psychiatric Demonstration Project examining the impact of a partial repeal of the IMD exclusion that limits medical and mental health services for patients in some institutions 
    • REPORTING REQUIREMENTS to ensure the Department of Justice monitors consequences of non-treatment including the role of untreated severe mental illness in officer-involved shootings 
    • CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORIZATION for a demonstration assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) program in local communities like the one previously funded for mental health courts
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