U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee’s Workforce Working Group, today introduced a slate of bipartisan bills that will support Montana’s mental health workforce and boost substance use disorder services, ensuring that Montanans across the state have access to care.
“Access to mental health services is critical for our rural communities and veterans—especially in states like Montana where suicide is sadly taking too many lives. We must ensure our health care workforce have the tools and resources they need to serve Montanans across our state. I’m glad to work on these bipartisan bills to empower and expand the mental health care workforce which will help ensure that no matter where you live, you have access to life-saving mental health services,” Daines said.
“Earlier this year, we came together to pass transformative community mental health care for the country. These bipartisan bills take important steps to invest in the workforce that is needed to achieve our goals of quality mental health and addiction services for all Americans who need them,” Stabenow said.
Daines and Stabenow’s bills include:
- “Protect Our Physicians Act” which will expand mental health and wellness programs for physicians suffering from burnout.
- “Expand Qualified Psychologist Services Act” which will make it easier for patients to see qualified psychologists.
- “Training Psychiatrists for the Future Act” which will add 400 new physician residency positions yearly to train new physicians in psychiatry.
- “Expand the Behavioral Health Workforce Now Act” which will require Medicaid to provide new guidance to states on increasing the mental health workforce.
- “More Behavioral Health Providers Act” which will increase mental health care providers in rural communities.
Daines has been a leading advocate in the U.S. Senate for addressing mental health challenges.
In February, Daines emphasized the concerning mental health impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic had on young Montanans.
Last year, Daines cosponsored a bipartisan bill, the “PEERS Act,” to expand access to peer support services for Montanans with mental health and substance use conditions.
Last October, Daines introduced a bipartisan bill to support suicide prevention and mental health care for Montana servicemembers.
Last summer, Daines introduced a bipartisan bill to enhance access to addiction and mental health services in communities across Montana.
Last year, Daines led a hearing on improving mental health and addiction services in our communities, where he highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montana.