House passes bill to expand federal behavioral health programs

The House last week voted 402-20 to pass the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-being Act (H.R. 7666), bipartisan legislation that includes reauthorization through 2027 of more than 30 programs supporting mental health care, prevention, education and workforce training. The bill includes AHA-supported legislation that would reauthorize and expand a program addressing maternal mental health and substance use disorders. It would also require the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to maintain a national hotline to provide mental health and substance use disorder resources to pregnant and postpartum women and their families. Among other provisions, the bill would establish a Behavioral Health Crisis Coordinating Office within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and require the HHS Secretary to publish best practices for a crisis response continuum of care. The Senate will consider the legislation next. (AHA News, 6/23/22)