Report by Paula Antolini
May 15, 2017 6:09PM EDT
Sen. Murphy Marks ‘Connecticut Prevention Week’ … Reaffirmed His Commitment to Raise Awareness and Secure Increased Federal Support for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders
Over 900 Connecticut residents died from a drug overdose in 2016
WASHINGTON – During Connecticut Prevention Week 2017, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) – co-author of the recently passed Mental Health Reform Act – reaffirmed his commitment to raise awareness and secure increased federal support for mental health and substance abuse disorders. Connecticut Prevention Week is May 14th through 20th, and runs concurrently with the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Prevention Week, an annual week dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental health and substance use disorders.
“We’ve all seen the painful reality of addiction and mental illness. Overdose deaths are climbing every year, and people who need help are often shut out of the system,” said Murphy. “It was an honor to write the Mental Health Reform Act and help enact some of the most significant reforms of our mental health system in decades, but Congress still needs to do more. We need to beat back the stigmas surrounding addiction and mental illness, and we need to send more money back to states for crisis intervention, treatment, and law enforcement.
Murphy continued, “I know that people in Connecticut are counting on us to help end this epidemic. All of the professionals and advocates in Connecticut who work on this are making real progress, and I’m so grateful for their efforts. I’ll keep working with Republicans and Democrats to make sure we finish the job we started.”
In Connecticut, deaths caused by drug overdoses have skyrocketed. Over 900 Connecticut residents died from a drug overdose in 2016.
Murphy introduced his Mental Health Reform Act after holding more than a dozen roundtable across Connecticut with mental health consumers and providers. The new law ultimately expanded federal resources and improved coordination for mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. Murphy also joined the Connecticut delegation in securing a $5.5 million federal grant to support Connecticut efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. Last year, Murphy spent a “Day in the Life” meeting with patients, health professionals, law enforcement, and advocates around Connecticut to learn firsthand how he can improve federal efforts to combat Connecticut’s addiction crisis and save lives.