December 4th, 2015
The Greenville Journal wrote an article yesterday on Paton’s meeting with Trey Gowdy where he announced his support and cosponsorship for HR731, the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2015. We are still trying to get the rest of South Carolina’s Congressional delegation to support HR731 as well. Click here to learn more about how you can reach out to SC’s delegates to get them to support HR731.
Greenville mental health advocate Paton Blough last week met with U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy and convinced him to support federal legislation that would help fund mental health treatment courts.
Blough, who benefitted from a mental health court program and is a state board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), started a petition campaign this fall to run against Gowdy. In a letter to the congressman, he said Gowdy lacked “leadership in the area of mental health reform.”
“The reason I got into this race… was to make the point of the needed mental health reform,” Blough said.
However, the evening after the meeting between Gowdy and Blough, which County Councilman Bob Taylor also attended, one of Gowdy’s staffers emailed Blough to let him know that Gowdy would sign on as a cosponsor of the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2015.
The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee’s Crime Subcommittee, which Gowdy sits on, and Blough said he was excited and hoped Gowdy’s leadership would aid the passage of the bill.
The bill Gowdy agreed to support would expand veterans’ treatment programs, peer support programs for people going through long-term recovery and programs for adults and juveniles who have a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder, in addition to funding training programs to help police recognize mental health and substance abuse disorders.