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Fischer, Smith Bill to Create Mental Health Dashboard
Minnesota Ag Connection - 08/07/2020

U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced the Achieving Thorough Transparency & Accessibility for Information Navigation (ATTAIN) on Mental Health Act. The legislation would create a user-friendly online dashboard to assist applicants for federal mental health grants.

"Mental health is a crisis in this country, and the effects of the COVID pandemic have only made it worse. This is particularly true in rural areas where resources are often more limited. That is why it is more important than ever that the process for applying for mental health grants be as transparent as possible," said Fischer.

"I sit in the seat Senator Paul Wellstone once held, and I take his legacy of advocating for mental health parity really seriously. During the pandemic, it's especially critical that we take every possible step to help all Americans access the mental health care they need," said Smith. "The bipartisan ATTAIN Mental Health Act will help make sure schools, local governments, housing services and other organizations are aware of the guidelines for federal mental health grant funding. Ultimately, this will help make mental health care more accessible."

"This bill is a good first step to ensure that mental health resources and funding are more easily accessible to more communities in need. This is essential, especially right now as the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in anxiety, depression, suicide and other mental illnesses," said American Psychiatric Association CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A.

The bill would establish an interactive, web-based dashboard to allow potential applicants to review eligibility and status information for federal grant funding related to mental health programs. The legislation would task HHS with developing this online tool in a collaborative interagency effort.

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