May 17, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY: Cassidy, Murphy Announce Senate Mental Health Summit

 WASHINGTON—US Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), co-authors of the Mental Health Reform Act and members of the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today announced they will host a Senate Mental Health Summit featuring mental health experts, providers and advocates on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

“Congress must make fixing the broken mental health care system a priority before we break for the summer. With the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act ready for a floor vote, we’re closer to taking real, meaningful action than we’ve been in decades. We cannot let up,” said Senators Murphy and Cassidy. “We hope our Senate Mental Health Summit reminds our colleagues what is at stake here, and encourages leaders of both parties to make the issue a priority before the 114th Congress comes to an end.”

Cassidy and Murphy first introduced the comprehensive, bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 in August 2015. The Senators joined forces with HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) in introducing the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 in March of this year. The bill passed unanimously out of the HELP Committee on March 16, 2016.


US Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) host a Senate Summit On Mental Health—A Call To Action For Comprehensive Mental Health Reform



Thursday, May 26, 2016

8:30 AM- 2 PM




Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902

Washington, DC




Attendees RSVP here.

Press RSVP to Jillian Rogers at Jillian_Rogers@Cassidy.Senate.Gov


9:30 AM: Welcome

Senators Bill Cassidy and Chris Murphy


9:50 AM: Panel Discussion #1– What Does The Research Show About The Need For Action?

Senator Chris Murphy

Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, Director, Harvard Global Health Institute

Ben Miller, PsyD, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Department of Medicine

10:35 AM: Panel Discussion #2– Provider Perspective on Mental Health Reform

Senator Bill Cassidy

Maria Oquendo, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical School

Gregory K. Fritz, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Brown University School of Medicine

Marion Earls, MD, Director of Pediatric Programs for Community Care of North Carolina

11:30 AM: Panel Discussion #3– The Price of Inaction

Hakeem Rahim, CEO, Live Breathe LLC

Greg Champagne, Sheriff, St. Charles Parish, LA

Peter Jacoby, MD, Saint Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT    


12:20 PM: Keynote Speech: Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds

Senator Deeds has represented the 25th District in the Senate of Virginia since December 2001. The National Alliance on Mental Illness honored Sen. Deeds with the Richard T. Greer Advocacy Award for his efforts to reform mental health, and the American Psychological Association Practice Organization named him the 2015 State Legislator of the Year Award. Deeds was featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes in which he discussed how the mental health system had failed his son, Gus, who stabbed Deeds and tragically took his own life in 2013.

1:20 PM: Closing Remarks

Senators Bill Cassidy and Chris Murphy