February 08, 2022

At Senate Finance Hearing, Cortez Masto Calls for Comprehensive Mental Health Reform

Earlier Today, Cortez Masto Was Named Subcommittee Chair of Senate Finance Committee Effort to Overhaul America’s Mental Health System

Cortez Masto Finance

Washington, D.C. – Today, at a U.S. Senate Finance Committee Hearing, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) called for comprehensive mental health reform that will improve mental health services for Nevadans and Americans across the country.

“I think it is so important in this day and age that there is mental health parity with physical health,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “There is too much of a stigma around mental health, but nobody has stigma about being concerned about their physical health and getting the health care they need….”

The Senator continued by stating that, “We knew we were having mental health challenges even before the pandemic, particularly for our kids and young adults, and the pandemic has exacerbated that. And we have to do more to provide essential services to them, the continuum of care of services, the funding sources to get those services and then build up the professional capacity that is needed to provide those services.”

She also released the following statement announcing her leadership as a member of the Senate Finance Committee’s working group on mental health. Cortez Masto is the co-chair, along with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), of a subcommittee tasked with increasing integration, coordination, and access to mental health care. She will work with her colleagues to identify legislative steps to improve the mental health care system with the goal of producing a bipartisan bill by this summer.

“Nevadans’ mental health is just as important as their physical health, and I’m committed to finding bipartisan solutions that prioritize behavioral and mental health care in the U.S.,” said the Senator. “I’ll continue to work my colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, to craft legislation that will improve our mental health care system and get Nevadans in crisis the support they need.”  

Additional information on the working group can be found here.

Senator Cortez Masto is a leader in expanding access to quality mental and behavioral health care. Her bipartisan legislation to provide peer support for federal law enforcement officials passed the Senate in June. She also has introduced legislation to help ensure peer support programs are available online, and legislation to ensure peers can serve seniors in Medicare. Her bipartisan bill to overhaul the response to mental health crises nationwide also would increase access to a range of mental health services, including mobile crisis units and crisis stabilization facilities. Senator Cortez Masto has led efforts in the Senate to address the student mental health and suicide crisis, working closely with students in Nevada, and has called on the Biden administration to work with her to launch a coordinated, all-of-government response to the challenges facing students.