Advocacy Alert: October 2021 Legislative News Round Up

November 4, 2021

For those of you who follow us on social media know, we post news stories on a daily basis that are connected to the behavioral health and addiction treatment industry.

Many of these are news stories regarding legislation, so once a month we send out a 'news roundup' of related news stories we've posted. Unless otherwise stated, BHAP has no official stance on any of these stories: the intention is to share so that we're all better informed as to what's happening in the legislative world.

A reminder that BHAP members get access to a monthly call with our advocate in Washington, DC, to find out what is going on and ask any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us for more information on that.


ND | Human Services' Behavioral Health Division Announces Suicide Prevention Funding Opportunity
Shared 10/1/2021
The North Dakota Department of Human Services' Behavioral Health Division is announcing a funding opportunity for local government organizations, community nonprofit or private organizations and tribal nations to expand suicide prevention efforts in the state.

This Workplace Rule Could Have Blunted the Opioid Epidemic. Then Congress Killed It.
Shared 10/2/2021
Twenty years later, while the overall number of reported cases has fallen, musculoskeletal disorders continue to torment workers in warehouses and health care facilities, and on construction sites.

SAMSHA to Launch "Office of Recovery" to Expand Commitment to all Americans
Shared 10/2/2021
SAMSHA also known as The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is launching an Office of Recovery, within the office of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, to advance the agency's commitment to, and support of, recovery for all Americans.

Senate Passes Legislation on Mental Health for Health Care Professionals
Shared 10/3/2021
The legislation aims to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental/behavioral health conditions among health care professionals.

Biden Administration Grapples with American Addiction as Overdose Deaths Hit Record High
Shared 10/3/2021
With a growing number of Americans dying from drug overdoses and concerns over addiction rising, the Biden administration has found itself facing a nationwide crisis that keeps escalating as the Covid-19 pandemic drags on.

MI | Sides Drawn on Plan to Privatize Michigan Mental-Health System
Shared 10/3/2021
Privatizing the state's complex mental-health system will make it easier for Michiganders to access services that address both physical and mental needs, proponents of two bills said at a legislative hearing in Lansing.

MT | MSU, UM Receive $1.9M for Mental Health Care Training
Shared 10/4/2021
The money will go to the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program, a program through both Montana State University and the University of Montana.

WY | Changes to Wyoming Prescription Drug and Opioid Misuse Efforts
Shared 10/5/2021
As federal grant funding ends, state efforts aimed at preventing overdoses and deaths tied to prescription drugs and opioids are changing but continuing, according to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH).

KS | Kansas Mental Health Panel Sets Sights on Telehealth, Care Accessibility
Shared 10/5/2021
A Kansas committee tasked with providing mental health policy recommendations will reconsider telehealth treatment and payment options in its 2021 report.

Francis Collins to Step Down as Director of the National Institutes of Health
Shared 10/6/2021
Dr. Collins is the longest serving presidentially appointed NIH director, having served three U.S. presidents over more than 12 years.

Labor Secretary Walsh helps Launch Addiction Recovery Program for Construction Workers
Shared 10/8/2021
Construction work is a physically and psychologically demanding job, and some workers use drugs and alcohol to manage stress or self-medicate physical pain, according to the healthcare company American Addiction Centers (AAC).

NY | Millions of Dollars Distributed to Fight New York Opioid Crisis
Shared 10/9/2021
The state of New York is handing out billions of dollars in opioid legal settlement money to help fight the deadly drug crisis.

VT | Department of Public Safety Hires Mourning Fox as 1st Director of Mental Health
Shared 10/9/2021
He joins the agency at a time when the state is dealing with an influx of people seeking mental health assistance and a shortage of professionals to help them.

WV | Charleston Mayor Requests Special Session to Address Mental Health, Addiction Issues Facing West Virginia
Shared 10/10/2021
Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin called on West Virginia lawmakers to convene a special session to address challenges with mental health, substance use disorder and homelessness facing municipalities in a letter.

CO | Colorado's Top Lawyer Focuses on Youth Behavioral Health during Durango Visit
Shared 10/11/2021
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser visited Big Picture High School on Wednesday in Durango to discuss how the school's youth behavioral support programs have been working since Durango School District 9-R received a two-year grant of $100,000 from the Healthy Youth/Strong Colorado Fund.

NJ | Murphy Administration Unveils Youth Mental Health Resource Website
Shared 10/11/2021
Gov. Phil Murphy and members of his administration have announced a new web tool – – that is designed to link parents, youths and educators with resources and supports to address youth mental health challenges exacerbated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

HI | How Hawai'i Can Build a Better Behavioral Health and Substance Use Network of Care, According to Experts
Shared 10/16/2021
In Hawai'i, the state's unique geography and cultural demographics have led to the development of a diverse network of behavioral health services.

IL | How Can Mental Health Responders Change Policing?
Shared 10/18/2021
New legislation in Illinois, known as the Stephon Edwards Watts Act, aims to provide trained mental health workers to respond instead of, or alongside, police.

Court Finds Addiction Recovery is Not a Ground to Deprive a Parent of Custody
Shared 10/21/2021
The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan has ruled that a parent's recovery from addiction and reliance on social assistance are not good reasons to deprive them of custody of their child.

TN | Gov. Lee Visits Leaders to Discuss Tennessee's Progress in Serving Disability Community
Shared 10/21/2021
The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and TennCare are working with Core Services in the Tri-Cities area to utilize Enabling Technology to support those with disabilities in reaching their independence goals, leading to less reliance on paid-supports and overall greater quality of life.

Trudeau Urged to Make Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs a Priority
Shared 10/22/2021
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being urged to decriminalize the possession and use of illicit drugs as a way to combat the opioid crisis that has resulted in thousands of deaths in Canada.

FL | Hillsborough Commissioners to Vote on 'Safe Haven' for Those with Mental Illness
Shared 10/22/2021
A Tampa non-profit hopes to establish a clubhouse that could help hundreds with mental illness.

House Passes Bipartisan State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act
Shared 10/24/2021
This bipartisan legislation bolsters the State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) Grants programs over the next six years, making critical investments in the resources communities need to respond to the opioid epidemic.

MI | Behavioral Health Emergency Response Bills Pass the Senate
Shared 10/24/2021
A pair of bills to boost local emergency response programs for people dealing with a mental health crisis has passed the state Senate.

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A reminder that BHAP members get regular access to our advocate in Washington, DC. If you have any questions about BHAP's advocacy efforts, please contact us.


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