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Originally published in the Fall 2021 edition of the OCD Newsletter.

Greetings! This fall we invite you to visit the IOCDF Action Center, which has been re-launched with new messages that you can send to your representatives and senators in support of our 2021–22 legislative agenda. The agenda, which we detailed in the summer edition of Public Policy Corner, covers three overlapping issue areas that are of great importance to the OCD and related disorders community: increasing telehealth access, expanding the mental health workforce to meet demand, and requiring insurers to treat claims for mental health coverage fairly (and to comply with parity laws).

We need your help to get the word out to legislators about five key bills on these issue areas. Please visit the Action Center to learn more about each issue and the bills we are supporting, and to send an email to your elected officials.

In other public policy news, the IOCDF recently endorsed several other bills currently under consideration by Congress, including:

  • The Medicaid Bump Act (H.R.3450/S.1727), which would incentivize states to expand behavioral health benefits for Medicaid beneficiaries. States that expand benefits would receive additional federal matching funds to help pay for the cost of improving behavioral health coverage. 
  • The Treatment Expansion Act (S. 2069/H.R. 4323). This bill would expand the successful Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) program that brings a wide range of evidence-based mental health services into communities in 40 U.S. States. CCBHCs represent a vital link to mental health services for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured people.
  • S.1543, The STANDUP Act, which would greatly expand suicide awareness and prevention training policies in schools targeted at reducing youth suicides. Schools that have implemented evidence-based prevention programs like those encouraged by this bill have seen a 40% reduction in suicide attempts. 

Please be sure to sign up for email notifications about upcoming public policy events, action alerts, and other ways to get involved. Visit our public policy advocacy page to sign up and view the latest news and updates!

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