The Campaign for REAL Change in Mental Health Policy was initiated in opposition to The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646), introduced by Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA).
We are a diverse group of professionals, psychiatric survivors, researchers, policymakers, citizens, family members, and people in recovery who don’t necessarily agree on all points, but who are united in our effort to stop the Murphy bill. We are also united in the belief that we can do better than what this bill proposes.
We believe in basing policy on science and we believe in civil rights. Within that framework, we embrace different points of view, different language, and different visions for the future. We hope to facilitate a healthy discussion about how to move forward in a way that respects and includes all people, regardless of gender, color, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or diagnosis.
The Campaign recognizes that we have learned much in the past twenty years about mental health. We now know that “mental illnesses” and “substance use disorders” are complex and varied. No single approach will meet everyone’s needs, desires, or circumstances. We know that adversity and trauma play a major contributing role. We know the kinds of community services and supports that work. We know that only a public health approach that focuses on both children and adults will be able to break intergenerational cycles of risk. And we know that our collective failure as a society to address these issues is having a devastating impact on the nation’s health and well-being. We now have the necessary knowledge to:
- Prevent many of the social conditions that contribute to these problems
- Strengthen protective factors and resilience in the general population and in high-risk groups
- Provide effective services that people will choose to use
- Support people in recovery
The Campaign for REAL Change in Mental Health Policy believes that we don’t have to sacrifice people’s civil rights to create an effective mental health system. The Campaign also believes that to enact any “mental health reform” that does not take a comprehensive public health approach is a missed opportunity.