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Sen. Murphy looks to expand mental health care access across the nation

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy
Steve Helber
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut announced new legislation this week that would reauthorize a series of mental health and substance use treatment programs, which are set to expire later this year.

“One of the things that I heard in particular when I was talking to folks at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, which is our biggest pediatric hospital in Connecticut, is that they've got a lot of pediatricians but not enough mental health training for those pediatricians,” Murphy said.

Murphy said he hopes the bill will also expand access to mental health care in schools.

“We need to give more resources to these school based providers. We need more school based health centers, but we need more school based health centers with mental health expertise,” Murphy said.

The Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act of 2022 would build on a 2016 law that sought to improve key programs.

Its reauthorization would give states more funding under the Mental Health Services Block Grant — especially to focus on the growing need for mental health services in the U.S. made worse by the pandemic.

Connecticut allocated $100 million this week in state funding to mental health programs across the state.

Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.