Glenn Close Heads to Senate for Mental-Health Measure

The actress is joining Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Roy Blunt.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: Actress Glenn Close speaks about eradicating the stigma and prejudice around mental illness at the Social Innovation Summit May 2013 - Day Two on May 30, 2013 in New York City.
National Journal
Clara Ritger
Dec. 17, 2013, 5:46 a.m.

Glenn Close is com­ing to Cap­it­ol Hill on Wed­nes­day to make a push for men­tal-health re­form.

The act­ress and men­tal-health ad­voc­ate is join­ing Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., to rally sup­port for their pro­pos­al to give com­munity men­tal-health cen­ters more ac­cess to fed­er­al dol­lars for provid­ing en­hanced treat­ment and ser­vices. It will set up demon­stra­tion pro­grams in 10 states.

Stabenow’s and Blunt’s meas­ure, the Ex­cel­lence in Men­tal Health Act, was ad­ded last week to le­gis­la­tion that would per­man­ently fix the broken for­mula used to re­im­burse phys­i­cians for provid­ing Medi­care ser­vices. Con­gress is ex­pec­ted to take up that meas­ure with­in the first three months of 2014, be­cause the tem­por­ary “doc-fix” pre­vent­ing a 20 per­cent cut to phys­i­cians’ pay will ex­pire in March.

The move­ment for men­tal-health re­form falls near the one-year an­niversary of the mas­sacre at Sandy Hook Ele­ment­ary in New­town, Conn.

Close’s ap­pear­ance isn’t the first time celebrit­ies have lob­bied for the Sen­ate pro­pos­al. Dav­id O. Rus­sell, who dir­ec­ted the award-win­ning film Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book, ap­peared at the press con­fer­ence in­tro­du­cing the meas­ure, and the film’s lead act­or, Brad­ley Cooper, has also ap­peared at events with the sen­at­ors.

Close foun­ded Bring Change 2 Mind, an or­gan­iz­a­tion work­ing to end the stigma sur­round­ing men­tal ill­ness. She at­ten­ded a men­tal-health sum­mit at the White House in the spring.

The press con­fer­ence is set for 10 a.m. in the Lyn­don B. John­son room of the U.S. Cap­it­ol. Close is ex­pec­ted to meet with sen­at­ors fol­low­ing the event.

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