Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
YouTube icon
Instagram icon

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

Apr 5, 2018 In The News

INDIANAPOLIS --  Indiana students could gain more access to mental-health counseling at school.

The just-passed federal spending bill includes two-billion dollars in grants for school safety programs, including mental health assistance. Indiana will be applying for money to address what state school superintendent Jennifer McCormick says is a growing issue in schools across the state. She says having mental-health teams on campus could help prevent not only violence directed at other students, but suicides.

Feb 9, 2018 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed a bicameral bipartisan budget agreement to keep the government fully operational, boost defense spending, increasing disaster relief funding, support community health centers and provide funding to combat the opioid crisis. 

Jan 10, 2018 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the President signed H.R. 2228, the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, into law. Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN) issued the following statement:

Jan 7, 2018 In The News

 

A prevailing problem in Grant County is at the top of Rep. Susan Brooks’ list for 2018.

The opioid crisis claimed plenty of lives in the county in 2017. By the end of November, overdose deaths had climbed to 24, a number that continued to grow for the remainder of the year.

“We haven’t turned the corner yet in the state or the county on the number of people dying from addiction and overdoses,” Brooks said in a phone interview with the Chronicle-Tribune Friday.

Jan 4, 2018 In The News

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The widely Hoosier-supported Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017 has passed both houses of Congress and awaits the president’s signature.

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks co-authored House Bill 2228 and worked alongside U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly and Todd Young and the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police.

Brooks also received adamant support from an unexpected source: a 27-year-old female police officer in Lebanon.

Dec 28, 2017 In The News

The U.S. Senate on Dec. 21 passed the bipartisan, bicameral Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017, legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) to support law enforcement officers through mental health services.

The measure now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. The U.S. House of Representatives previously passed the bill on Nov. 28.

Dec 27, 2017 In The News

ANDERSON – Being a law enforcement officer is a stressful job, but legislation sponsored by Indiana lawmakers could help people engaged in public safety facing mental health issues.

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act has been passed by both houses of Congress and is awaiting the signature of President Donald Trump. The legislation was sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, and Sen. Todd Young, a Republican. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th District, was a co-sponsor in the House.

Dec 26, 2017 In The News

ANDERSON – Being a law enforcement officer is a stressful job, but legislation sponsored by Indiana lawmakers could help people engaged in public safety facing mental health issues.

The Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act has been passed by both houses of Congress and is awaiting the signature of President Donald Trump. The legislation was sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Indiana Sens. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, and Sen. Todd Young, a Republican. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-5th District, was a co-sponsor in the House.

Dec 22, 2017 News Releases

CARMEL, IN – Late last night, the Senate 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.

Dec 21, 2017 In The News

Taylor Nielsen, a Lebanon Police Officer who has inspired many by coming forward with her struggle against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), continues to prove that one voice can inspire action.

A recently passed Lebanon Police Department policy and bill in U.S. House of Representatives were both inspired, at least in part, by Nielsen’s story.

The LPD policy was passed by the Lebanon Board of Works in November and will provide several new resources for officers who are suffering from job-related or personal mental health struggles.