Reps. Murphy, Fitzpatrick Discuss Mental Health Act

Fitzpatrick Murphy
Reps. Fitzpatrick and Murphy

Rep. Tim Murphy, who has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, has investigated the allocation of federal funds toward mental health programs since the tragic Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, CT.

Through the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Congressman Murphy discovered that the federal government spends $125 billion per year on “mental health,” however most of those resources are not directed toward the most serious mental health illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression.

Finding many areas in need of improvement, congressman Murphy introduced the bipartisan Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act [H.R. 3717], and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) is sponsoring the legislation.

The act focuses on delivering acute psychiatric care to those with the most serious cases of mental illness. It includes provisions to expand access to inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment, in addition to training for law enforcement officers and first responders concerning mental health crises. Finally, the act reauthorizes suicide prevention programs.

The two representatives discussed the act in a conference call today with Bucks County Commissioner Diane Marseglia, and members of the Bucks County Suicide Task Force.

According to Murphy, “the federal government’s approach to mental health has been a chaotic patchwork of antiquated programs and ineffective policies across numerous agencies. Sadly, patients end up in the criminal justice system or on the streets because services are not available.”

Congressman Fitzpatrick affirmed in that call that the country’s mental health system is in need of a comprehensive overhaul.

“Broken is an appropriate designation for our mental health system…we have millions of Americans who suffer from mental illness and many of their families are without the appropriate support systems. I try to be a legislator, as does Rep. Murphy, that works on both sides of the aisle to work on fixing the mental health system in the United States,” stated Rep. Fitzpatrick.

The proposed act has gained much attention across the nation, and many are in favor of Congressman Murphy’s efforts.

The Wall Street Journal Editors wrote that, “the alternative is Vice President Joe Biden’s proposal to throw another $100 million willy-nilly at a failed system. All the money in the world won’t help the mentally ill if it isn’t getting to them or is squandered on ineffective treatments. The Murphy bill is an informed attempt to overhaul a broken system. It might even prevent the next Newtown.”

Eight other Pennsylvania GOP representatives are co-sponsoring the bill, including Reps Glenn Thompson (PA-5), Patrick Meehan (PA-7), Bill Shuster (PA-9), Mike Kelly (PA-3), Jim Gerlach (PA- 6), Charles Dent (PA-15), and Keith Rothfus (PA-12). Rep. Michael Doyle (PA-14) is the lone Democratic sponsor from Pennsylvania.

18 Responses

  1. Thank you Congressman Murphy for introducing the long overdue bipartisan supported Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act [H.R. 3717]! The current system is so extremely dysfunctional that those who oppose this Act should consider that such a huge change could only help to improve things. There is no other legislative alternative. This is the best chance we have to improve a very broken and often unhelpful system. Morgan, showing that certain organizations (regardless of how “powerful” they are) oppose this Act is a very weak argument. NAMI in certain states and some state Mental Health Departments unfortunately oppose this Act. Do I alone still support this Act? Completely and undeniably for many solid reasons based on facts and experience.

  2. “I know that you are not concerned about the opinions of people, like myself, who have been given a psychiatric label and have lived experience in our Mental UNHEALTH System. What you might be concerned with, however , are your legacies as political officials who, not only turned a blind eye away from the civil and human rights violations that are endemic in our Mental Health System- but actually lead the charge to further increase these violations and abuses by continuing to dehumanize a huge number of people in our society. This is what Adolf Hitler did. What you are doing is no different. History will not judge the oppression of those, who are your equals in God’s eyes, kindly.

    Jeanne Peschier” __________________________________________________________
    The mainstream media has neglected to factor in the abuse of substances legally prescribed by psychiatrists and other MDs, and legally consumed by the “mass shooters”, either while their homicide/suicidal rampage is taking place, or prior to their acts in a state of withdrawal. Consideration of these legally prescribed drugs as “substance abuse” should be made. There has been much independent research linking psychiatric drug use, and withdrawal from their use, to adverse mental/emotional/behavioral events (independent of the special interests of psychiatry and psycho-pharmacology). Even the FDA, colluding with the drug companies in taking vast sums for the approval of drugs from the manufacturers(and in other ways), has issued numerous warnings and Black Box warnings on these drugs- warnings that partially read like biographical descriptions of the mind set of the “mass shooters”. Of course the suggestion that psychiatric drugs represent “substance abuse”, as legally prescribed and consumed, has it’s draw backs if one’s work is promoted by the powers that promote and profit from their use, would you agree Rep Murphy and Rep Fitzpatrick?- _______________________________”In almost every story we read about these kinds of mass killings, whether on a military base or in a school, the kids or Veterans have been treated with these dangerous drugs… They never question the psychiatrists who prescribe dangerous drugs to damaged soldiers.” -Ron Paul _______________________________ “Mental illness” IS the stigma ; illness is discovered, not just labeled, and is physical- discovered and treated by physicians- hence the name PHYSICIAN. SO,_______________________________________

    -Who determines “serious mental illness” and it’s treatment with or without the knowing and informed consent of the “patient or consumer”, and is that not, in the case of assertions by alleged experts on one’s “mental health”, a violation of their civil and human rights when and if they dissent?

    -What are the definition(s) and parameters of “serious mental illness”?

    -Are there agreed on references for their definition?

    -Who should agree on these parameters and definitions in a “free society”, a self proclaimed group of “experts” on YOUR mind?

    -How would YOU feel if you were deemed to have a “serious mental illness” you disagreed with?-Jim Keiser, pg admin Mental health/psychiatric watchdog & reform activity,

  3. That last post by Joy is right on target – schizophrenia and severe mental illness should not be lumped in with behaviorial health and that is why Murphy’s bill is so important because the activists that run SAMHSA do nothing for those of us who have family members who need real medical services for brain malfunction and not an “I’m ok You’re ok” seminar on transgender equality. There needs to be a place for ALL of us including schizophrenia where services are provided and now that there are no inpatient services we just pretend like those homeless people have chosen that lifestyle and not that they are seriously ill. When is America going to wake up about this crisis? I thank Murphy and Fitzpatrick for being leaders on this issue and taking the political blows to do what is needed for millions of families! THANK YOU!!

  4. We need mental health care under medical not behavioral health due to it is not a behavior its a brain desease which needs to be treated as samhsa cannot do this . I also know we need to get the definition for severe mental illness back to the definition of 1981 we also need to change criteria for services to before they become part danger to self or others. Secondly families know better than anyone when tho is a problem. We need this bill to pass

  5. Ms Morgan’s comment is very troubling to me. I’m disappointed that she’s unaware that these organizations do not represent the views or best interests of people living with psychotic disorders for whom medical care is essential forrecovery. National consumer/survivor organizations have no interest in this population and then they block the efforts of families who want to help their family member get their psychotic disorder under control.

    People with what they themselves term ’emotional distress’ have seized the right to represent people with the most severe mental illnesses. It’s one of the reasons we now have ten times as many people with mental illnesses who are incarcerated as we have acute psychiatric beds. Shame on any disability rights organizations that support these groups. And kudos to Rep. Murphy for bringing much needed attention to these injustices. And I’m a liberal Democrat.

  6. Thank god for HR3717! The status quo is not working. We need sweeping change to this ‘non’system of mental healthcare. Parents of adults with severe mental illness need to be able to communicate with the treatment team, after all we are the full time caregivers. Those who are treatment resistant and lack insight need assisted outpatient treatment. Some need hospitalizations but there are too few beds and the law requires violence before involuntary commitment. HR3717 takes care if these issues. We families need te help that Murphy and Fitzpatrick offer (and have bipartisan support for)!!

  7. Looks like Sheri is getting our tax dollars through her phony “consulting” firm to turn around and lobby to feather her own nest! Wow, I hope Fitzpatrick and Murphy fix that loophole because Sheri is also using our tax dollars to give campaign contributions to liberal Democrats. That should be illegal

  8. I am grateful that there is so much bipartisan support for HR3717 that would allow reasonable loosening of HIPAA laws so that family and caregivers will be able to help an ill person get into treatment. I am also grateful that HR3717 supports treatment for people with persistent mental illness. If we wait till the ill person is a danger to self or other, it’s too late; with HR3717 we’ll avoid both tragedy and crime.

  9. I love my son but raising a mentally ill child can be a living hell. My son has threatened to kill me, smashed up our house when off his meds…the ACT team doesn’t care. The police want to taser him. I love my son but I fear for my family’s safety. Thank god Tim Murphy and mike Fitzpatrick understand and are trying to help restore MY FAMILYS RIGHTS.
    Sheri Morgan and the scientologists who give joe Rogers money would prefer my son dies with his rights on. Sheri should be ashamed of herself!

  10. HR3717 is an amazing and thoughtful bill that has bipartisan support from right wing republicans, left wing democrats, those in the center, families of the seriously mentally ill, many people with serious mental illness, police, NAMI and the public. The only opposition is from a minority within the vocal SAMHSA funded mental health industry who oppose the fact that the bill starts to eliminate ineffective programs, requires funding of evidence based programs, and starts to reorient their programs towards helping the most seriously ill. It has been endorsed by the liberal Washington Post, conservative Wall Street Journal and many in the middle. Change is always difficult. Those who refuse to serve the most seriously ill, run programs lacking in evidence are rightfully afraid of this bill passing. Learn more at

  11. SAMSHA is run by a lesbian lawyer who sues hospitals to get psychos dumped out on the street to kill people. She works with ACORN, NAMI and PA Mental Health Consumer Justice activists using tacpayer dollars to turn these crazies out into the streets. Take a look at this government agency and what they are really doing, check out Alternatives Conference on Discovering Your Hearing Voices – a network that tries to get everyone to hear voices in their heads! It’s crazy

  12. Hahahahaha you liberal whores, anti psychiatry kooks and teabaggers! You all can’t stand it when Murphy wins, despite all your lying theiving trash talk! Face it, you can’t take him down no matter how hard you try with your liberal gun control trolls and how many little boys you ship in from Virginia for a few weeks to run a botched primary. Epic FAIL everytime!

  13. The Entire Republican Party has a mental health illness. Tim Murphy is not even from western Pennsylvania. Tim Murphy the carpetbagger from Cleveland. They all have a mental illness up there. Maybe all the toxic fumes from all the stinky gas wells are finally getting to him since he took more money from the gas industry than any other republican across the country.

  14. Murphy knows how to play mental games better than anyone! Too bad no one has been able to take this guy down. He has never done anything for the good of his constituents or people in general which makes me skeptical of anything he would support!

  15. “Hey, folks, lookie HERE at this new thingie! Just don’t bother looking over there at thse FIFTY VOTES we took against the ACA, which requires insurers to actually cover mental health pari passu with other medical conditions… We were only kidding about that one!” Hypocrites and Losers.

  16. Rep. Murphy’s bill is OPPOSED by the Disability Rights Network of PA, the Mental Health Association in PA, and the PA Mental Health Consumers’ Association.
    Any proposed legislation impacting people who live with mental health challenges should, at the very least, be informed by those people. Health care professionals know this; elected officials often ignore this. Maybe one of the purposes of this bill is to dismantle the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The fact that it is OPPOSED by the groups mentioned above tells me something is fundamentally flawed with this bill.

Comments are closed.

  • When Should The Special Elections For The PA House Be Held?

    • May 16, 2023 (Primary Day) (51%)
    • March, 2023 (47%)
    • April, 2023 (2%)

    Total Voters: 173

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen