The California Administrative Office of the Courts reported that in jails nationwide, 15 percent of male inmates and 31 percent of female inmates have a serious mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other severe forms of depression. “The Los Angeles County jail,” the report notes, “is often cited as housing more people with mental illness than the largest psychiatric treatment facilities in the country.”
Twenty-four California counties have created a total of 32 mental health courts for adults and juveniles to address the problem.
California lacks a sufficient amount of psychiatric beds for individuals with severe mental health issues, according to a report released last week by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs' Association, HealthyCalreports. The report said that 26 of the 58 counties in California have no inpatient psychiatric beds available. Of the counties that do have psychiatric beds, many often are reserved for individuals who have been charged with crimes.
The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church drew 3,300 attendees on March 28th, half of whom were family members. Over 30,000 more people accessed the event through a live internet webcast. Faith and community leaders, family members and consumers, government workers, elected officials, college students, clinicians, hospital officials, and others, all joined forces at this historic event held at Saddleback Church, in Southern California.
Tens of thousands of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD, but only a small minority commit violent acts. It is extremely difficult to predict those who are likely to explode into violence, according to experts in mass shootings and mental illness.
Lawmakers, patient advocates and the millions of Americans living with a psychiatric diagnosis agree that the nation’s mental health care system is broken, and on Thursday, Congress will hear testimony on the most ambitious overhaul plan in decades, a bill that has already stirred longstanding divisions in mental health circles. The prospects for the bill, proposed by Representative Tim Murphy, Republican of Pennsylvania, are uncertain, experts say, given partisanship in both the House and the Senate and the sheer complexity of the mental health system. And its backing of the expanded use of involuntary outpatient treatment has drawn opposition from some advocacy groups.
Researchers have taken a huge step towards solving some of the disorder’s complex mysteries. Through groundbreaking stem cell research, scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School and the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Researcher Fund transformed skin cells from people with bipolar disorder into neurons that mimicked those found in their brains. They were then able to compare these nerve stem cells with cells derived from people without bipolar disorder – and study how the neurons responded to medications for the condition.
Utilizing funds from Proposition 63, which requires counties to become more effective and innovative in treatment, the effort enlists patients to work alongside professional mental health staff. The patients guide their own recovery and that of their peers.
Mary Giliberti, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, offered the following statement in conjunction with a House of Representatives oversight hearing: "Hospital beds for individuals with mental illness who experience acute crisis are a necessary element for America's mental health care system, but there are not enough beds. Supply does not meet demand. It is not just patients who are in crisis; it is the system as well."
Schools are uniquely poised to lead a revolution in prevention-based mental health care, with 50 percent of chronic mental illness beginning by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24.
While there are disparities between Caucasian and racial-minority patients in the use of psychotherapy, when it is used, there are no racial differences in effectiveness, new study says.
The study raises questions about the military's screening of recruits. Another study looks at rising suicide rates among soldiers.
Nearly one in 10 hospitalized children have a primary diagnosis of a mental health condition, and depression alone accounts for $1.33 billion in hospital charges annually, according to a new analysis led by UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The study is the first to examine frequency and costs associated with specific inpatient mental health diagnoses for children, and is a step towards creating meaningful measures of the quality of pediatric hospital care.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today issued the following statement by NAMI Executive Director Mary Gilibertiin response to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that it will not move forward to "finalize" proposed rule changes under Medicare Part D that would have restricted access to antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.
Adam has a secret. He's shared it with his family and close friends. In fact, he would like to talk about it more openly. But he doesn't want to use his real name in this story because he fears that people at his new high-tech job will see it and think less of him. A few months ago, he considered allowing a reporter to mention his depression in a news story about a community project in which he was involved. His depression was one of the reasons he got involved: "I guess I was tired of feeling like I have to hide this piece of me," he says.
A year after his son’s suicide, popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren is taking on a new mental health ministry inspired by his personal tragedy. Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and a best-selling author, will team with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host a daylong event March 28 focused on helping church leaders reach parishioners who are struggling with mental illness.
Actress Halle Berry appears on the cover of the latest issue of The Advocate, the magazine of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), with an interview inside about her upcoming film, Frankie & Alice. Based on a true story, Berry plays Frankie Murdoch, an African American ’70s-era go-go dancer living with dissociative identity disorder (DID). She is challenged by two identities: a scared 7-year old girl named Genius and a bigoted, white southern belle named Alice.
Psychologists, counselors and other mental health professionals have a lack of understanding of African-Americans that leads to inaccurate diagnoses and harm to blacks with behavioral disorders, experts say. A symposium at UC Riverside, which featured editors of a state-commissioned report on black mental health, came as the California Department of Public Health is developing strategic plans to implement some recommendations of the statewide study.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule that would remove protected class status for antipsychotic and antidepressant prescription drugs from the Medicare Part D program. This is extremely concerning to NAMI and its members. Limiting access to medications for people who live with mental illness threatens treatment and lives.
On Tuesday, February 18th, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, introduced SB 1054—Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction (MIOCR) Grants, legislation that will renew funding for the MICOR program, which addresses recidivism reduction for juvenile and adult offenders with mental illness.
More than four years in the making, including pushback from the surrounding neighborhood, the VA Aspire Center opens Monday in San Diego to serve Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from invisible battle scars. It’s the first of its kind, officials say: A 40-bed center offering two to four months of residential care solely for young vets with post-traumatic stress disorder or mild brain injury.
Scientists from UCLA, UC San Francisco, Costa Rica and Colombia take steps to identify genetic component to mental illness. They have identified about 50 brain and behavioral measures that are both under strong genetic control and associated with bipolar disorder. Their discoveries could be a major step toward identifying the specific genes that contribute to the illness.
The Affordable Care Act aims to extend health coverage to almost everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions or job status, providing an estimated 5.3 million eligible Californians with prevention and wellness coverage through Covered California and an expansion of Medi-Cal to those living below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. About 625,000 people have signed up for insurance on the state exchange since it opened Oct. 1.
In the ruling on Monday, the panel of judges gave the state until Feb. 28, 2016, to reduce prison overcrowding. However, the judges said no additional delays will be granted. Under the ruling, the state will not be allowed to increase the number of California inmates housed in out-of-state correctional facilities.
Compelling outpatient treatment - although not medication - for the severely mentally ill remains a topic freighted with concerns about individual rights, effectiveness and potential misuse. Slowly, though, sentiment in some parts of the state appears to be shifting toward at least trying the approach, as stories mount from parents of seriously mentally ill adults who refuse treatment and often don't believe they need it. Only two counties - rural Nevada and Yolo - now implement Laura's Law as written.
The increasing stress isn't just afflicting children of Silicon Valley's affluent and educated, who attend top schools among driven, college-bound peers. Though not yet reflected in lagging and incomplete national statistics, the trend appears to cut across social class, income level, ethnicity and academic ability. What's behind the rise is uncertain. Theories include economic distress, dysfunctional families, absent and preoccupied busy parents, technology obsession, social media and extraordinary pressure on kids to excel.
Amanda Lipp is an IOOV and P2P facilitator who has served on the NAMI California Board of Directors since 2012. She’s youngest person to serve on a NAMI or NAMI State Board, and is a public speaker, artist, writer, and videographer. Ms. Lipp is scheduled to graduate with a B.S. from UC Davis in June, 2014. I'n this article, she recounts her release from a psychiatric hospital and introduction to NAMI California.
The California Office of the Patient Advocate has released the 2014 report card on statewide behavioral and mental health care services provided by HMOs. Grades reveal how successful each HMO was at helping members get the behavioral and mental health care they needed.
Since funding under the act the most recent data, from May 2012 to April 2013 comparing pre-treatment and post-treatment episodes, indicated a 64-percent decrease in the number of days of psychiatric hospitalization, a 21-percent decrease in the number of days in jail, a 94-percent decrease in homelessness and an 87-percent decrease in emergency interventions. Finally, the experience in Nevada County also highlights a net cost savings, primarily due to reduced hospitalizations and incarcertations.
The county’s Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services (ADMHS) has received an $8.3 million state grant that will pay for 23 new full-time employees — case workers, psychiatrists, and consumer and family peers — to work on crisis triage teams in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc.
Gov. Jerry Brown spoke for about 17 minutes during Wednesday's State of the State speech. Read the text.
Life is about to get better for homeless veterans in Santa Clara County, thanks to two new contracts awarded to InnVision Shelter Network by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The InnVision Julian Street Inn facility is receiving funding for 12 mental health beds geared specifically for veterans.
Laura's Law is controversial, but many frustrated families, who despite their best efforts can't help seriously ill loved ones, believe it could literally be a life saver in some cases. But the law is aimed at only a small segment of the afflicted population, and there is still a critical shortage of services we know can work for the rest of those with serious mental disorders — outreach, intervention and supportive housing.
The name of Kelly Thomas should reverberate in our minds and ears for years to come. There are lessons to be learned here and it is incumbent on us to learn them.
A scholar’s comments in a January 2014 interview cast a spotlight on the phenomenon of smoking among persons with mental illness as among the very top current public health challenges. We should underscore, too, the point made by authors of a 2009 U.S.-Australia study: younger smokers had considerably higher rates of mental illness than older smokers. This year’s 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s warnings about cigarette smoking is a good time to renew our commitment to try to keep young people from starting in the first place.
On January 9 the Governor released his proposed budget for 2014-15. The budget proposal anticipates increased revenue, resulting in increased general fund revenue and an operating surplus for next year. Most programs will see no major gains in funding as a result of this increased revenue, as the bulk of additional revenue will be used for debt reduction and increased spending on education. This increase in revenue, however, did result in part in from higher than expected income tax payments, which will likely result in increased funding for the MHSA.
A new study finds substance abuse is higher among individuals with severe mental illness. Researchers discovered people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and similar conditions have a higher risk for substance use — especially cigarette smoking — and protective factors usually associated with lower rates of substance use do not exist in severe mental illness.
As part of its bid to become the least productive United States legislature ever, the current 113th Congress is managing to hold up yet another worthy piece of bipartisan legislation. Senate Bill 162, introduced by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) as the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act, would authorize grants to "improve the treatment of mentally ill individuals in the criminal justice system" within state, local and tribal governments. The bill provides for $40 million in grants per year for five years, making its annual cost $10 million short of the amount set aside for new Transportation Security Administration uniforms a week before the sequester took effect.
The federal government on Friday announced it had drafted new rules aimed at keeping people who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric treatment from buying guns. The Department of Health and Human Services said one proposed rule would "remove unnecessary legal barriers" to states reporting the names of patients involuntary admitted to psychiatric care. Those names would enter the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems -- NICS -- that would be used by most gun dealers as a condition of sale.
Veteran Pasadena police Officer and occasional Pasadena Weekly columnist Victor Cass has been elected president of the San Gabriel Valley chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Cass, a longtime mental health advocate, previously worked on the department’s Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Evaluation (HOPE) team and helped found the Pasadena Mental Health Advisory Committee, an organization he led from 2008 to 2011. Officer Cass was the recipient of NAMI California’s 2010 Criminal Justice Professional Award.
The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover mental health care just as they do physical care, but a new study shows only half of psychiatrists accept insurance. That means access to care for the millions of people with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues may be limited to those who can pay for treatment out of their own pockets, despite the law.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is launching a new program to provide education and support to families of Military Service Members and Veterans affected by major mental health conditions. "NAMI Homefront" is based on the evidence-based NAMI Family-to-Family education program, which has been used in recent years at U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health facilities. NAMI Homefront adapts the NAMI Family-to-Family curriculum to the unique needs of military and veterans' communities, such as post-deployment and post-discharge transitions.
On Thursday, December 19th, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, announced proposed legislation for a recidivism reduction program to focus on juvenile and adult offenders with mental illness.
In a press release, Senator Steinberg proposes to bring back the successful community-based treatment and services of the state's Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Grant (MIOCRG) program. The re-established program would give counties resources to divert mentally ill low-level offenders to treatment rather than jail, with follow-up services for those released from jail to keep them from "reoffending".
The Healthcare.gov rollout has been a rocky process. But the healthcare reform law has the potential to increase access to insurance for millions of people living with mental illness. Thanks to the included parity provisions, an estimated 62 million Americans will now receive coverage for mental illness at a level equal to medical and surgical benefits.
Santa Cruz County showed off its new $14.5 million behavioral health center on Wednesday, giving local health officials and politicians a tour of a dormitory-style treatment center meant to be a place of comfort for those suffering through serious mental health issues. It is designed to be a step above a clinical setting, and while it includes an intake area for patients in crisis, the 16-bed treatment area is light and open, painted in warm, welcoming hues.
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) introduced major mental health reforms earlier today that would substantially improve care for individuals with the most severe mental illness so that treatment is accessed through the healthcare system, rather than the criminal justice system, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announced a $100 million boost in funding for mental health services on Tuesday as he met families of children killed in the Newtown school shooting, the White House said. Half the money will go to enable community health centers to offer behavioral health services to people suffering from mental illness or addiction.
Smartphones could become lifelines for UC Davis students who are having trouble coping or are concerned about someone in distress, thanks to a new mobile-friendly website.
Called “Just in Case,” the resource is part of a larger UC Davis initiative to reduce the stigma students may feel seeking mental health services and to provide innovative suicide prevention services and resources. It demonstrates how UC Davis is one community in which we care for each other.
If a young person in your family, or the family of someone you know, is in Juvenile Hall awaiting charges or trial, and if the mental health of that young person may be a factor related to the offense, recommend that they ask about the availability of a mental health court or similar diversion program to as a means of resolving the charges against them. In those counties which have such programs, the evaluation could be helpful.
A new analysis by Oregon State University researchers of California’s mental health system finds that comprehensive, community-based mental health programs are helping people with serious mental illness transition to independent living. Published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health, this study has important implications for the way that states finance and deliver mental health programs, and speaks to the effectiveness of well-funded, comprehensive community programs.
Amid a continued increasing demand for services, county mental health officials are seeking extra staff to alleviate pressure on emergency rooms, law enforcement and better serve wide-reaching rural areas.
The San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health will be applying for a state grant of $8,113,495, which would support 25 extra personnel for more than three years, county officials say — 15 DBH staff and 10 contract provider staff dedicated to sheriff’s stations, family resource centers, psychiatric hospitals and geographically-disadvantaged locations.
NAMI California Board of Directors member Roger Greenbaum detailed the accomplishments of NAMI California's stigma reduction programs at the monthly board meeting of the California Association of Private Special Education Schools (CAPSES). Greenbaum, pictured at right with Chris Holmes, President Elect and Region 8 representative, detailed the presentations made through the signature programs: Parents & Teachers as Allies and Ending the Silence.
Mark Gale, serving as co-coordinator of the California Treatment Advocacy Coalition, Los Angeles, received The Community Champion Award in recognition of his “incredible advocacy work” in Los Angeles and in the state as a whole. He has been involved in criminal justice and mental health initiatives as a member of the NAMI Board, a chair of several NAMI committees, a member of several work groups for the Administrative Office of the Courts.
An expert on conditions of confinement testified this week that mental illnesses of inmates in California’s prisons are allowed to worsen for months – and sometimes years – in segregated isolation, while their plight makes it easier to manage them.
There are about 1.2 million California adults who live with some form of mental illness. Yet, nationwide, less than 40 percent of people with mental illness receive treatment. The ACA requires insurers to guarantee that financial requirements like co-pays and deductibles, as well as limits on doctors’ visits and care management, are no more restrictive in the behavioral health field than requirements or limitations on other medical or surgical benefits.
Less than half of American teens with mental health disorders receive treatment, and those who do get help rarely see a mental health specialist, a new study indicates. The findings underscore the need for better mental health services for teens, said study author E. Jane Costello, associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy in Durham, N.C.
Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.
In the wake of any mass shooting, there's a predictable and justified burst of public outrage and sorrow followed by a series of do-something legislative proposals meant to prevent similar tragedies from ever occurring again. A recent Mayo Clinic study points out that mass shooters tend to meticulously plan their crimes weeks or months in advance, undermining the idea that the mentally ill simply "snap" and go on shooting rampages while also complicating the notion of effective gun control through gun registries, since a methodical planner has plenty of time to obtain weapons through illegal channels.
Thank you to all our riders who raised funds and to the volunteers who served breakfast and lunch, staffed the rest stops and kept the riders safe on the road. And thank you to our sponsors. Visit our photo gallery.
At 18 years of age in the United States, a young person not only acquires the right to vote. Among other facets of legal majority, he also acquires rights to prevent disclosure of details of his ongoing health status, including of course mental health care. Rights as to which, up to a point, he need answer to no one. This abrupt shift in the landscape can and does indeed unsettle a cornerstone of mental health care - - communication with concerned family members about the affected individual’s clinical care. In far too many instances, this is detrimental for young people and their parents/caregivers alike. Therein lies a problem - - and a challenge.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health plans are now required to provide mental health services. That means the newly insured, even the low income, will have the option to seek care anywhere they want, even outside the county health system. The upgrades are one way that government-run health services, including clinics and mental health centers, are coping with being thrust into a landscape of competition.
Our daughter, Maggie, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, following years of secret alcohol and drug abuse. No one brings dinner when your daughter is an addict.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a long-awaited “final rule” dictating that mental health be covered equal to physical health. Currently, 60 percent of Americans affected by a mental health condition do not receive treatment. With rules requiring parity, we hope that more Americans will receive the care they need and deserve.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering college students and others free tools to increase mental health education on college campuses. The special toolkit also supports the National Dialogue launched by the recent White House Conference on Mental Health.
NAMI applauds and thanks President Obama and Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for issuing today the final regulations that define parity under federal law, requiring insurers to provide mental health care benefits on the same terms that they cover physical illnesses.
An $88.9 million state-funded expansion of the jail could add 26 beds for the mentally and physically infirm by the fall of 2019. An outpatient clinic, more space for rehabilitation programs and improved security are also part of the conceptual plan. But it’s the mental-health resources that stand out.
Students throughout California are invited to Direct Change by submitting 60-second videos in two categories: “Suicide Prevention” and “Ending the Silence about Mental Illness”. The winning teams and their associated schools will win cash prizes, qualify to win mental health or suicide prevention programs for their schools and will be recognized at an award ceremony at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
New report summarizes the results of interviews conducted with California stakeholders responsible for implementing AB 109. Researchers conducted 125 interviews in 21 counties to produce a snapshot of how California counties are faring under Realignment.
Even though patients may turn first to their primary-care physicians with any concerns about depression, the tools that those doctors use to evaluate their patients for mental-health disorders aren’t necessarily helping to improve their patients’ symptoms, according to the latest study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association of some of the most common practices used by these physicians.
The Department of Veterans Affairs keeps more than a third of new mental health patients waiting longer than its goal of 14 days to begin treatment, Some of the worst bottlenecks are at large VA hospitals in Orlando, Houston and Los Angeles.
Many attitudes have changed since the Mental Health Act passed nearly a decade ago, but persistent social stigmas still prevent many from seeking help, county officials said Tuesday.
A new report shows the smoking cessation needs of people with mental disorders have been overlooked.
This RAND Corporation study examines the impacts arising from neuroscience and mental health research going back 20-25 years, and identifies attributes of the research, researchers or research setting that are associated with translation into patient benefit, in the particular case of schizophrenia.
Number of doctors on staff is down about 33 percent since September 2012, forcing Atascadero State Hospital to admit fewer patients, close unit.
Facing federal scrutiny of the way it uses force to subdue mentally ill prisoners, the California corrections department is working on new rules to curb some of those practices.In testimony Wednesday before a federal judge, the state official in charge of adult prisons said he sought the changes in part because of videotapes showing half a dozen inmates — some naked and screaming for help — being repeatedly sprayed with large amounts of pepper spray.
As the new health insurance Marketplaces get underway, scammers have begun to surface, ready to take advantage of those who may not realize they are giving personal and financial information to fraudulent people.
Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the country is on the cusp of what he called “remarkable changes” in the treatment of mental illness.
The countywide "white card" project will allow people to voluntarily obtain a free photo identification card that will list information like their diagnosis, medication and contact numbers for their next of kin.
The last piece of legislation President John F. Kennedy signed turns 50 this month: the Community Mental Health Act, which helped transform the way people with mental illness are treated and cared for in the United States. But only half of the proposed centers were ever built, and those were never fully funded.
This first column of the 2013-14 school year is for sharing with Newsletter readers two recent developments which hold significance for students of all ages.
A talented young violinist's descent into mental illness and crime is checked by generosity and San Francisco's Behavioral Health Court. Now Kim Knoble is playing again.
The Bears receiver, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in 2011, created a foundation to educate, fight stigma, and advocate for persons living with BPD.
Twitter may be a viable tool for real-time monitoring of suicide risk factors on a large scale, researchers say.
The most recent Global Burden of Disease 2010 study found mental disorders to be the largest contributor to disability. An estimated 75% of persons affected by mental disorders live in low and middle income countries, and up to 85% of them do not have access to treatment. Mental health is perhaps one of the most neglected of neglected diseases in global health.
The San Diego County community celebrated the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of Citronica One, a permanent and supportive housing complex that includes 15 units for TAY out of a total of 56 units to increase affordable housing for individuals and families in the County.
Historic Day for Millions of Californians Who Will Have Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care Coverage at CoveredCA.com
A new Gallup poll taken after last week's tragedy at the Washington Navy Yard reveals that Americans fault the mental health system for mass shootings, even more than inadequate gun laws.
Five years after President Obama signed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, there is widespread agreement that it has fallen short of its goal of creating parity for mental health coverage.
The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) new app allows you to search for services in your county on your mobile device.
If California is serious about reducing its prison population, one crucial component will have to be reducing recidivism. A major new study of correctional education in U.S. state prisons suggests there are things California could do to slow that revolving door. Research demonstrates that ex-offenders' futures may depend on what, if anything, they learn while behind bars.
Steinberg’s visit is yet another reminder that before the supervisors ask taxpayers to spend $1 billion to build a new jail, the county ought to consider some alternative ways to deal with overcrowding, including diversion programs for those mentally ill inmates who pose no public safety threat.
The United States incarcerates hundreds of thousands of inmates suffering from mental illness, and jails and prisons are struggling to provide for inmates with severe mental health needs. Los Angeles County is even exploring specifically to house and provide treatment for mentally ill inmates. The proposal is estimated to cost more than $1 billion.
The National Association of Broadcasters announced today that local radio and TV stations across America have donated airtime valued at over $12 million for NAB's 'OK2Talk' mental health public service announcement campaign. This includes over 106,600 airings on local TV and radio stations.
Excellence in Mental Health Act would pump $2.8 billion into communities to initiate or expand 24-hour psychiatric crisis intervention, screenings and counseling. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he hoped mental health - an issue with bipartisan consensus - could provide leverage to win extra votes for expanded background checks, which last April fell six votes short of the 60 needed to overcome a Senate filibuster.