IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 24 (legislative day, January 3), 2013
Mr. Begich (for himself, Mr. Blumenthal, Ms. Ayotte, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Rubio, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Reed, Mr. Blunt, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Tester, and Mr. Coons) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
To amend section 520J of the Public Health Service Act to authorize grants for mental health first aid training programs.
This Act may be cited as
Mental Health First Aid Act of
Mental health first aid training grants
Mental health first aid training grants
The Secretary, acting through the Administrator, shall award grants to States, political subdivisions of States, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and nonprofit private entities to initiate and sustain mental health first aid training programs.
To be eligible for funding under subsection (a), a mental health first aid training program shall—
be designed to train individuals in the categories listed in paragraph (2) to accomplish the objectives described in paragraph (3);
ensure that training is conducted by trainers that are properly licensed and credentialed by nonprofit entities as designated by the Secretary; and
at a minimum—
a core live training course for individuals in the categories listed in paragraph (2) on the skills, resources, and knowledge to assist individuals in crisis to connect with appropriate local mental health care services;
training on mental health resources, including the location of community mental health centers described in section 1913(c), in the State and local community; and
training on action plans and protocols for referral to such resources; and
where feasible, continuing education and updated training for individuals in the categories determined under paragraph (2).
Categories of individuals to be trained
The categories of individuals to be trained shall be determined by the Secretary.
Objectives of training
To be eligible for funding under subsection (a), a mental health first aid training program shall be designed to train individuals in the categories listed in paragraph (2) to accomplish each of the following objectives (as appropriate for the individuals to be trained, taking into consideration their age):
Safe de-escalation of crisis situations.
Recognition of the signs and symptoms of mental illness, including such common psychiatric conditions as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major clinical depression, and anxiety disorders.
Timely referral to mental health services in the early stages of developing mental disorders in order to—
avoid more costly subsequent behavioral health care; and
enhance the effectiveness of mental health services.
Distribution of awards
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall—
ensure that grants are equitably distributed among the geographical regions of the United States; and
pay particular attention to the mental health training needs of populations and target audiences residing in rural areas.
A State, political subdivision of a State, Indian tribe, tribal organization, or nonprofit private entity that desires a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including a plan for the rigorous evaluation of activities that are carried out with funds received under such grant.
A State, political subdivision of a State, Indian tribe, tribal organization, or nonprofit private entity that receives a grant under this section shall prepare and submit an evaluation to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may reasonably require, including an evaluation of activities carried out with funds received under such grant and a process and outcome evaluation.
Authorization of appropriations
To carry out this section , there are authorized to be appropriated $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2014 and such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2015 and 2016.