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APHA praises mental health services bill.

APHA took action in June to help ensure the nation has a robust mental health services delivery system in place during future public health catastrophes.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., introduced the Public Mental Health Emergency Preparedness Act of 2006 June 20 that would establish a national center to coordinate the creation and delivery of mental health services during disasters. According to the bill, S. 3537, the national center would disseminate training curricula to emergency health professionals around the nation, act as a clearinghouse for educational and research materials and host an annual forum to enable professionals to identify and address gaps in science, practice, policy and education.

"We must not wait until another disaster strikes before we take action to improve the way we respond to the psychological needs of affected Americans," Clinton said during the bill's introduction on the Senate floor.

APHA sent a letter in support of the mental health services bill to Clinton, noting that "proper attention to mental and behavioral health issues should be part of an integrated response to a public health emergency, ranging from a flu pandemic to a natural disaster."
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Title Annotation:APHA ADVOCATES: Recent actions on public health by APHA; american public health association
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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