Hillary Clinton outlines her mental health plan, and many Americans are applauding it. On Monday, the office of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine released a new mental health agenda as part of the Democratic nominee’s overall health initiative.
According to experts, more than 40 million people in America are coping with some form of mental health problem. While the majority of those impacted are adults, an estimated 17 million children face mental health issues.
Sadly, suicide is often linked to mental illness, in particular for teenagers and college students, veterans, and seniors.
Mrs. Clinton said in her first year as president; she will make sure that people, who are battling mental issues such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and those, who are fighting drug and alcohol addictions have access to better treatment.
Clinton’s proposal also calls for more care for veterans. More than 20% of military personnel returning from fighting in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan experience post-traumatic stress or depression.
The former secretary of state will convene a White House conference on mental health as soon as she is sworn into office and try to accomplish her goal. In a statement, Clinton explained:
“Americans will no longer separate mental health from physical health when it comes to access to care or quality of treatment. The next generation must grow up knowing that mental health is a key component of overall health and there is no shame, stigma, or barriers to seeking out care.”
The plan also calls for retooling the reimbursement systems in Medicare and Medicaid. The Clinton administration will be “promoting early diagnosis and intervention, including a national suicide prevention initiative.”
Clinton said she decided to focus on mental health after meeting countless people on the campaign trail, who have families struggling with mental health and drug-related illnesses. The plan goes a step further than others with her call for better training for police officers so they can better respond to a crisis involving individuals with mental illness.
The press release read:
Too many Americans are being left to face mental health problems on their own, and too many individuals are dying prematurely from associated health conditions. We must do better. To date in this campaign, Hillary set out policies that will direct support to individuals with mental health problems and their families—including a detailed agenda to support military service members and veterans, an initiative to end America’s epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction, and a robust caregivers’ agenda. Today, she is building on those proposals with a comprehensive agenda on mental health.
Here are some of the highlights of Clinton’s comprehensive agenda on mental health:
-Promote early diagnosis and intervention, including launching a national initiative for suicide prevention.
-Integrate our nation’s mental and physical health care systems so that health care delivery focuses on the “whole person,” and significantly enhance community-based treatment
-Improve criminal justice outcomes by training law enforcement officers in crisis intervention, and prioritizing treatment over jail for non-violent, low-level offenders.
-Enforce mental health parity to the full extent of the law.
-Improve access to housing and job opportunities.
-Invest in brain and behavioral research and developing safe and effective treatments.
Clinton’s mental health initiative is promising, but experts doubt it will ever become a reality. Congress will have a lot of say in the outcome.