Cornyn Encourages Senate to Support Mental Health Reforms, R&D Investment in Cures Legislation

Last night, this Chamber voted to move the 21st Century Cures bill forward with an incredible vote of 85 senators voting in favor. It passed the House overwhelmingly last week, and I look forward to getting it through the Chamber and to the President's desk as soon as possible.

Significantly, this legislation, the 21st Century Cures bill, includes reforms to our mental health delivery system, in part based on legislation I introduced in the Senate called the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act.

Many people suffering from mental illness simply live on our streets as homeless individuals or they are frequent fliers, so to speak, in our criminal justice system and have never, in many instances, never had their mental illness diagnosed, much less treated, so they can actually have a chance at a better life. The mental health provisions included in the Cures bill is one way to correct that course.

This legislation will equip state and local governments with better tools to assess individual health care needs so that those suffering from mental illness in the criminal justice system can begin to recover and get the help they need instead of just getting sicker and sicker. This bill also encourages the creation of crisis intervention teams so that our law enforcement officers and first responders can know how to deescalate dangerous confrontations.

This is about finding ways to help the mentally-ill individual get help while keeping the community safe at the same time.


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