Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Mental Health Reform

I am an advocate in Congress for reforming our mental health care system so that people struggling with mental illness can get the care and treatment they need before a crisis occurs, and that their families and loved ones can be partners in helping to address their illness. In the 115th Congress, I introduced H.R. 2228, the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, with my colleagues Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA). This legislation helps agencies create or improve mental health services for law enforcement officers. Our officers deal with the unthinkable and daily face situations that can be hard to process and impossible to forget. They need the training and resources to protect their own emotional and mental wellbeing in these situations. This bill provides law enforcement officers with the skills to handle the stress and anxiety associated with their job as well as the resources to address serious mental health challenges that may arise like depression and PTSD. 

In 2016, I supported critical reforms to our mental healthcare system that were included as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. These reforms include improving coordination of mental health and substance abuse treatment; strengthening communication between providers, families and people with mental health challenges to improve care; expanding care and treatment for people with mental illness; and reinforcing our country’s mental health workforce.

Until recently, the only option for people in the midst of a mental health crisis, like having suicidal or dangerous thoughts, was the emergency room due to a national shortage of 100,000 psychiatric care beds. In 2015, S. 599, the Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act, companion legislation to a bill I introduced in the House, H.R. 3681, was signed into law. This legislation helps people experiencing a mental health crisis, such as expressing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, get the care and treatment they need without delay. It is my hope that we can will prevent senseless tragedies, improve the continuity of care for patients struggling with mental illness and save taxpayer dollars. I will continue to work in Congress to improve treatment for people struggling with mental illness and reduce the stigma associated with it.

To read a letter to the editor I wrote about the importance of providing mental health services to our law enforcement officers, click here. 

To read an op-ed I wrote about how to fix our mental healthcare system, click here.

To watch a brief statement I made on the House floor about the importance of mental healthcare reform, click here.

To read an op-ed I wrote about how 21st Century Cures will help people get the treatment and care they need, click here. For more information on the 21st Century Cures act, click here

More on Mental Health Reform

Nov 30, 2017 In The News

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced by Republicans from Indiana U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks and Sen. Todd Young to support law enforcement mental health programs moved a step closer to becoming law with unanimous passage in the House this week.

“Our police officers face a culture of silence when it comes to mental health challenges, and they need better access to mental health services to help them cope with unforgettable situations,” Brooks said.

Nov 28, 2017 News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2228, the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, which would help agencies create and improve mental health services for law enforcement officers.

Jun 6, 2017 In The News

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R- District Five, made it clear to her Grant County constituents this week that treating opioid addictions and mental health issues in the state were still among her top priorities. 

During her trip to Grant County Monday, Brooks met one-on-one with constituents at Ivy Tech Community College, talked with members of Family Service Society, Inc. and toured the Flannery-Keal Home for victims of domestic violence in Grant County.

Jun 4, 2017 In The News

Police officers deal with trauma all of the time on the job. Caught in the crossfire of violent crimes. Finding and recovering bodies of murder victims, some of whom are children. Targets for lone wolf shootings. Injecting NARCAN, the overdose reversal drug, into people who’ve overdosed on fentanyl laced heroin, trying to save their lives.

May 18, 2017 News Releases

Washington, D.C. – Last night, Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN05) joined her colleagues on the House Floor to honor our nation’s police officers during National Police Week and Mental Health Awareness Month and to highlight a bill she recently introduced in the House, H.R. 2228, the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act. Companion legislation, S.

May 17, 2017 In The News

A proposal from Indiana's senators to improve mental-health care for police has passed the chamber unanimously.

Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young say the bill would require training for mental-health counselors in the challenges unique to police work. It also calls for a study of whether it would help to create crisis hotlines, and includes a grant for police departments to copy an Indy Metro Police program to provide peer mentoring for police. 

May 3, 2017 In The News

Freshman U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., is backing a proposal to have the federal government offer more support to local governments to help law enforcement officers with mental health issues. 

Apr 28, 2017 News Releases

Washington, D.C. - Today, Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN), Val Demings (D-FL), Doug Collins (R-GA), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Dave Reichert (R-WA) introduced H.R. 2228, the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, which would help agencies create or improve mental health services for law enforcement officers.

Jul 6, 2016 News Releases

WASHINGTON— Today, the House passed H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, a proposal to reform care and treatment options for people struggling with mental illness and their families.  Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), a cosponsor of H.R. 2646, issued the following statement after passage: