“ The cost of doing nothing is not nothing, the cost of doing nothing in mental health is despair, depression, anxiety, addiction, and lives.”
FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – Yesterday, presidential candidate and former Congressman, John Delaney, released his plan to address our current mental health crisis. Delaney’s mental health plan aims to increase access to mental health treatment for every single American.
“We are in the midst of a mental health crisis. Communities and families across America are devastated by the effects of a prolonged failure to address our broken mental health system; it is a theme that consistently comes up as I travel the country. We cannot continue to have inadequate access to mental health care and expect this issue to solve itself. We must act now,” said Delaney.
“The cost of doing nothing is not nothing, the cost of doing nothing in mental health is despair, depression, anxiety, addiction, and lives. Under a Delaney administration, we will act with a thoughtful but swift approach.”
To read The Des Moines Register’s coverage of Delaney’s mental health plan, click here.
Mental Health Platform:
1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience a mental health illness in any given year yet nearly 60% don’t receive mental health services. Not receiving proper treatment for mental health can negatively affect many other aspects of one’s life, including economic stability. Approximately $193 billion in earnings is lost every year due to serious mental illnesses.The U.S. has not properly emphasized the need to treat our mental health needs as compared with our physical health needs.
In Congress, Delaney was on the front lines in defending the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was an important first step in expanding access to mental health treatment for millions of Americans. Delaney voted dozens of times against partisan efforts to repeal the ACA. In 2018, Delaney introduced the Suicide Prevention Analytics Act which aims to address the gap in data reporting as it relates to self-harm and suicidal behavior. This bipartisan bill creates a pilot program to help improve the compilation and sharing of near real-time suicidal behavior information among care providers, prevention experts, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To address the inadequacy of our mental health record as a country, Delaney proposes to:
- Require and enforce mental health parity within the health care system to ensure that individuals who need mental and behavioral health services have the same coverage and access as those who need physical health services.
- Delaney has made mental health parity a critical component of hisuniversal health care plan to ensure everyone’s health care plans provides the necessary coverage to receive care.
- Expand access to mental health resources for at-risk populations.
- Increase the number of mental health professionals in schools to provide services to students, emphasizing early detection and intervention. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,over one-third of students with a mental health condition drop out, the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
- Increase mental health professionals available to those incarcerated in correctional facilities. 64% of those in local jails have experienced symptoms of a mental health condition.
- Expand mental and behavioral telehealth options. This is particularly important in rural and underserved communities.
- Invest in rural broadband to boost telehealth effectiveness.
- Increase Medicaid reimbursements rates.
- Increasing reimbursement rates will help to build provider networks and expand access to mental health professionals for low-income population