Rep. Deutch Applauds House Passage of Anna Westin Legacy Act

(Washington) Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Anna Westin Legacy Act as part of H.R. 7666, the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022. U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22), member of the Bipartisan Task Force on Addiction and Mental Health, voted in favor of the legislation and issued this statement:
 
“Roughly 23 million Americans, 9% of the U.S. population, will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime. Anna Westin was one of those Americans.
 
“Twenty-two years ago, Anna took her own life at 21 years old after a years-long battle with severe anorexia. On that day, Anna’s community lost an intelligent and compassionate young woman, a dedicated volunteer with a bright future. Today, the House of Representatives took the next step in honoring her memory by making sure every American has access to the early intervention and care that could save their life.
 
“I am incredibly proud that the House passed the Anna Westin Legacy Act this afternoon, alongside a historic package of mental health reforms. The bill will reauthorize and expand the National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, which provides critical training, screening information, and best practices to primary care providers.
 
“In 2015, I first introduced the Anna Westin Act, which became law as the first federal legislation on eating disorders. This year, I joined my colleagues Representatives Matsui (D-CA), McKinley (R-WV), and Van Drew (R-NJ), to introduce the Anna Westin Legacy Act and continue the important work being done in Anna’s name.
 
“The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 makes essential—and long-overdue—investments in the wellbeing of the American people. From the reauthorization of critical harm reduction and mental healthcare grants, to bolstering virtual peer-support programs, to expanding patients’ quick access to substance abuse treatment, each provision in this bill is designed to tackle our nation’s mental health crisis. Now more than ever, we must get rid of the stigma surrounding mental illness and uplift those that seek out treatment.
 
“For those like Anna who lost their battle, and for all those in our country who suffer in silence from mental illness, I thank my colleagues for celebrating Anna’s legacy and passing this important bill today.”

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