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Sen. Blunt says new program will help close treatment gap in mental health care

Sen. Blunt highlights efforts to improve mental health care access, quality

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt spoke about the Excellence in Mental Health Act which he co-sponsored in 2014 and his continued efforts to improve access to mental health care on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at Swope Health Services in Kansas City.
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Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt spoke about the Excellence in Mental Health Act which he co-sponsored in 2014 and his continued efforts to improve access to mental health care on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, at Swope Health Services in Kansas City.

A new program will help close the treatment gap in behavioral and mental health care, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt said during a visit to Kansas City.

Blunt met with medical professionals at Swope Health Services Wednesday to highlight efforts to improve access to quality behavioral and mental health treatment. He told the audience a quarter of adult Americans live with a diagnosable and treatable behavioral health issue.

“One in four adult Americans has a diagnosable and almost always treatable behavioral health issue,” Blunt said. “They say one in 9 adult Americans has a behavioral health issue that impacts how they live every single day.”

Blunt, a Missouri Republican, helped introduce the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which was signed into law in 2014 to help community mental health centers improve quality standards and offer patients increased services like 24-hour crisis psychiatric care, counseling, and integrated services for mental illness.

Missouri was one of eight states selected in 2016 to participate in a Excellence in Mental Health Act program. Each state received a planning grant to work with community mental health centers and other mental health organizations to help close the gap in treatment.

“If you’ve got a health problem you should be able to open a door and get help for that whether it’s a behavioral health problem or another health problem,” Blunt said.

Toriano Porter: 816-234-4779, @torianoporter

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