Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for the 2016 United States presidential election, introduced recently a new way to bring a massive change in the mental health statistics of the country. The former Secretary of State announced a comprehensive agenda to deal with mental health issues faced by Americans after carefully studying the country’s mental health condition.
The plan aims to provide support to large number of Americans living with mental health problems, like bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia, and to make treatment of mental illnesses more available and accessible. The policy aims to end the country’s epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction by providing support to people living with mental health problems and their families. Here are a few highlights of the plan:
- More support and funding to be provided to promising mental health programs
America’s major concern is the increasing number of mental health issues reported in kids every year. These kids are either neglected or they do not have access to the necessary treatment in their region. Clinton’s agenda aims at eliminating this issue by spreading awareness, building state Medicaid practices to address maternal depression and stress in the lives of the younger generation.
She plans to fund mental health programs like Incredible Years to support early detection and intervention of mental health problems and support Early Psychosis Intervention Network (EPINET), a centralized platform for clinicians who deals with psychosis to access information, data and best practices, for effectively.
- Integrated support from federal agencies for suicide prevention
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. with over 40,000 Americans ending their lives every year. With the focus on “zero suicide,” a goal upheld by the Department of Health and Human Services, the presidential candidate plans to direct all central agencies like the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) towards devising plans to curb the number of suicide cases and explore the ways in which technology can reach people in the time of need.
Alongside, the plan also encompasses implementation of mental health education in middle and high schools, counseling and training for employees in colleges, devising college policies that enable students to take leave for mental health problems and giving equal priority to students of color and LGBT community.
- Expansion and introduction of new Medicare and Medicaid models
The agenda aims at bridging the gap between demand and supply of the adequate healthcare facilities. Clinton plans to enable this by developing a healthcare system that provides high-quality behavioral health services even in general settings, expanding reimbursement structures and introducing new payment models in Medicare and Medicaid.
- Minimizing criminal cases involving people with mental illness
Introduction of a system that can minimize the number of arrests involving individuals with mental health problems has been included in the plan. To ensure this, presidential candidate will invest resources to train law enforcement officers to handle such cases. Prioritizing treatment over punishment for non-violent lawbreakers with mental sickness and increased investment in specialized courts and drug courts are deemed as other ways to reduce mental health cases.
- Enforcing mental health equality
This step aims at providing equal medical support rights to the U.S. citizens. To ensure this, random audits will be carried out at the medical centers to identify cases of parity violations by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and HHS and the agencies will be directed to implement more effective enforcement actions.
- Housing and job opportunities
Clinton’s plan will ensure that two basic requirements – housing and job – of a mentally ill person are fulfilled. She will boost housing facility by launching a joint initiative among the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HHS and Agriculture and spend an average of $100 million per year for the next ten years. Expansion in employment opportunities will be enabled by working in close synchronization with private employers and state and local mental health authorities.
- Brain and behavioral science research
Clinton intends to focus on brain and behavioral science research and will develop of new links with the private and nonprofit sectors. She is likely to ensure that the research done is easily accessible for all researchers.
- For better mental health
Her top agenda is to improve the mental health of the American society. While she plans to organize a White House Conference on mental health within her first year in office, she has already taken a number of steps to support mental health sufferers and Caregivers Agenda and Veterans Agenda are a few to name.
It looks like mental health of the country will improve if Hillary Clinton handles the office, but if someone around you is in urgent need of treatment, contact Sovereign Mental Health Services to know about our mental health centers in your vicinity. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 954-0529 or chat online with mental health experts.