Positive first meeting with Congressman Murphy to discuss HR 3717

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The Children’s Mental Health Network had a productive meeting last week with Congressman Tim Murphy to discuss the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 3717). Joining me in the meeting was Advisory Council member Lisa Lambert, Executive Director of the Parent Professional Advocacy League, Boston, MA, Ruth Fox, Executive Director, and Maria Silva of the Allegheny Family Network, Pittsburgh, PA. 

Our "ask" for the meeting was that Congressman Murphy listen to families of children with mental health challenges offer their perspective on what is needed to improve services and supports both for young people with serious emotional challenges as well as those with less severe mental health challenges.

For over an hour we dialogued about the experiences of families and the importance of family-to-family support - regardless of diagnosis - from the initial sign of difficulty throughout the treatment process. I must say, the Congressman was attentive, asked a ton of questions, and maybe most important, agreed to meet with families from the Allegheny Family Network to get a better sense of how important family and peer-to-peer support is. 

There were several important take-aways from this meeting that will guide the Children's Mental Health Network as this bill moves forward. Note: There is also a Democratic bill that was introduced last week. More on that this coming Friday.

Serious props to Congressman Murphy for not only being willing to listen to our perspective but also willing to take the additional step of meeting with families from the Allegheny Family Network. Small steps Network faithful – We talk a lot about the disappointment in the most polarized Congress since Reconstruction. If our actions mirror that polarization then we are no better. The Children's Mental Health Network cannot let that happen and we count on you Network faithful to keep us focused on our guiding mission of being a collective voice for children's mental health.

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO
Children's Mental Health Network

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Gail Lanphear's avatar

Gail Lanphear

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Excellent article, Scott. Wise advice. I will discuss getting parent advocates to contact Murphy.
Accolades for your amazing, much needed network.

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