KeepHealthCare.ORG – Reed shifts focus to mental health awareness | News, Sports, Jobs
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which was the focus of Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, telephone conference call with regional media outlets Wednesday.
Reed said, in his opinion, that for many years mental health was not a priority when it comes to overall health care in the country. However, he said the attitude has changed in recent years, with more light, politically and by the health care industry, now shining brighter on issues surrounding mental health.
“Mental health for one of the first times in the nation’s history is a priority,” Reed said. “In my opinion, it was left in the dark, left unattended. There was a ‘Not in my backyard approach.’ I’m glad to say that is a thing of history.”
Reed highlighted his trip last month to Keuka Family Practice Associates located in Bath when he spoke with doctors, social workers and practice team about the behavioral health integration in their practice.
“Not only are they looking at physical health and they also have right there access to mental health providers and coordinators,” Reed said.
Reed – a member of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and the House Suicide Prevention Task Force – said both sides of the aisle are in agreement on the need to bring awareness to mental health. He is working with Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, on a marketing campaign with the Patrick Lee Foundation.
“We are coming together in a positive effort by highlighting the need to come together as one country to address mental health needs in our communities,” Reed said.
Launched earlier this month, “BeKind2TheMind,” is a mental health initiative designed to raise awareness of mental illness as well as educate communities about the need for increased public investment in mental health resources and to encourage people to be part of the solution.
During the call, Reed also responded to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announcing Tuesday that she is pushing the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to authorize $300 million in immediate, emergency relief funding for the nearly 4,000 dairy farms located across the state.
Reed said he would like to remind the senator that the budget agreement act with the Disaster Aid Bill passed earlier this year will allow for a more immediate flow of funds to dairy farms. He said there is a June deadline to apply for aid. He added that farmers can reach out to his offices and their farming colleagues to tap into this reform and resource passed into law earlier this year.
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