Members from the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) Board of Directors met with Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, and Washington Senator Patty Murray to discuss issues affecting adolescents and young adults struggling with mental health issues. The meetings with the Senators were held last Wednesday in anticipation of NATSAP’s annual DC Advocacy Day held each May during Mental Health Awareness Month.
As the largest not-for-profit membership association in the U.S. dedicated to residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and wilderness therapy programs for adolescents, NATSAP holds an Advocacy Day every year.
“For more than 10 years, we’ve brought more than 50 NATSAP members onto Capitol Hill to shed light on the mental health epidemic facing adolescents, and to ask for reasonable federal oversight on our schools and programs,” said Megan Stokes, Executive Director, NATSAP.
Currently, NATSAP has drafted a bill addressing some of these issues. That bill is pending introduction. Another bill, the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act (SICAA), has also been introduced in Congress. NATSAP encourages Congress in the fast passage of SICAA and to turn towards NATSAP’s draft legislative language on further increasing standards of care in residential treatment.
For more information about NATSAP, log onto www.natsap.org.