May 25, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY: Cassidy, Murphy Host Senate Mental Health Summit Tomorrow


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, will host a Senate Mental Health Summit tomorrow featuring mental health experts, providers and advocates.

The event will be livestreamed here.

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


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


9:30 AM: Welcome

Senators Bill Cassidy, Chris Murphy, HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray


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.

1:15 PM: Call to Action Press Conference

Senators Cassidy and Murphy will stand alongside advocates to conclude the Senate Summit on Mental Health and call for passage of the Mental Health Reform Act. The groups will deliver more than 200,000 petition signatures to Congress in support of urgent congressional action to fix America’s broken mental health system. Attendees include:

  • Senators Bill Cassidy and Chris Murphy
  • John Madigan, Vice President of Public Policy, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Katrina Velasquez, Esq., Policy Director, Eating Disorders Coalition
  • Lauren Alfred, Policy and Partnership Director, Sandy Hook Promise
  • Mary Giliberti, J.D., Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance on Mental Illness