The Issue Of Mental Health Care

1211 Words Sep 13th, 2016 5 Pages
On August 29, 2016, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released an ambitious plan for addressing the issue of mental health care in the United States1. This plan echoes numerous bipartisan bills that have been produced in Congress over the past several years and seems to be one of the few issues that both sides of the aisle can agree on.2 Earlier this year, a bill providing additional support to mental health care was passed in the House with a 422-22 vote3, so it is now up to the Senate to pass its own reform. If lawmakers fail to send a bill to President Obama before leaves office, which is likely, the onus will fall on the next president to leave their mark. If this turns out to be Ms. Clinton, her stance is obvious. She and the lawmakers working on these issues seem to agree on many important aspects; first and foremost that treatment of mental and physical health should be given the same priority. Other aspects of Clinton’s plan focus on early diagnosis and intervention, federal support for suicide prevention, improved outcomes in the criminal justice system, and integrating the mental and physical health care systems. Ms. Clinton also proposed $5 billion for community health centers to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment in addition to traditional medical care and advocated for the use of telemedicine to help address the shortage of mental health professionals. While the idea of these reforms has widespread support, one of the most likely obstacles…

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