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Congress Poised to Pass Mental Health Reform–Including a Focus on Infants and Toddlers

Aug 12, 2016

Congress is getting close to the passage of federal law that recognizes that babies’ mental health matters!

In July, the House of Representatives passed comprehensive mental health reform legislation along bipartisan lines, including a provision to invest in infant and early childhood mental health. In March, similar legislation was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and it now must be considered by the full Senate.

The provision addresses the need for mental health prevention, intervention, and treatment programs specifically for very young children. While the provision was not originally included in the draft mental health reform legislation in either the House or Senate, ZERO TO THREE worked with infant mental health advocates around the country to spearhead the effort to add the critical measure, developing legislative language, providing comments on drafts, and mobilizing advocates to contact key Congressional offices. Its inclusion underscores the need to focus comprehensive mental health reform where the foundations of strong mental health are laid–with young children, starting from birth.

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