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Monday, April 03, 2006

Senators Announce New Bipartisan Mental Health Caucus

Springing from last week's regrouped New Freedom Commission on Mental Health panels on Capitol Hill, U.S. Senators Pete V. Domenici (R-NM), Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) announce today the creation of a Senate Caucus on Mental Health Reform. Its goal is to help Senators better understand mental health issues, including combat-related PTSD.

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From a Campaign for Mental Health Reform press release:

CMHR Executive Director Charles Konigsberg said, "We are very pleased that the establishment of the new Senate Caucus by Senators Domenici, Kennedy, Smith, and Harkin will give invaluable bipartisan political support to making mental health a national priority." ...

Comments on the Senate Caucus on Mental Health Reform:

Senator Kennedy said, "The Senate Mental Health Caucus will work in a bipartisan way to educate the Congress on the importance of addressing mental health as a national priority. No one is exempt from the human toll of mental illness, and it is time to end the discrimination and stigma that millions of Americans face each day."

In particular, Senator Smith noted that one example of the Caucus' efforts will be to "help those of us who care deeply about mental health to educate our colleagues about the devastating impact of mental illness and the vital importance of access to mental health coverage for all Americans."

Kudos to these Senators for creating this caucus. The mental health education of our elected officials will go far in increasing PTSD awareness across the board.

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