While Donald Trump is grabbing all the headlines with his nonsensical and hysterical approach to immigration, Hilary Clinton has just announced a major policy initiative that is getting too little attention. It has to do with addressing our country’s mental health crisis.
Like most Americans, you probably know someone who is struggling to deal with a major or minor mental health issue and finding it hard to get the treatment they need and deserve. That’s not surprising. Forty million Americans live with a mental health issue and 14 million have a serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder. Twenty percent of veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have post-traumatic stress or depression or other mental health issue needing treatment as do 17 million American kids and nearly 25% of college students. Many can’t get adequate treatment for their mental health issue. Finally, there is general agreement that if we are going to reduce violence in America, we must do a better job of identifying and getting treatment for Americans with mental health issues that, if left untreated, might lead them to commit violent acts.
We must do a better job of providing all Americans with affordable and easy access to quality mental health care. Hilary has proposed to do just that.
Her plan includes:
- Support for early mental health diagnosis and intervention
- Support for increased public awareness and action to address maternal depression, infant mental health, and trauma and stress in the lives of young children.
- Federal funding to ensure that college students have access to mental health services.
- Support for expanded Suicide Prevention programs
- Federal efforts to foster integration between the medical and behavioral health care systems (including mental health and addiction services), so that high-quality treatment for behavioral health is widely available in general health care settings.
- Efforts to promote the use of peer support specialists in primary care settings, mental health specialty care settings, hospitals, and Accountable Care Organizations.
- New Federal resources to help train law enforcement officers in responding to encounters involving persons with mental illness, and increased support for law enforcement partnerships with mental health professionals.
- Prioritizing treatment over punishment for low-level, non-violent offenders with mental illnesses.
- Expanding community-based housing opportunities for individuals with mental illness and other disabilities.
- Expanding employment opportunities for people with mental illness.
- Significantly increasing Federal funding for research into brain development and the treatment of PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
You will not see this type of common sense and workable plan to deal with a major national issue coming from Donald Trump. He just wants to build walls and scare people.
You can read more about Hilary’s plan for improving access to and treatment of mental illness here: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/factsheets/2016/08/29/hillary-clintons-comprehensive-agenda-on-mental-health/
Share it with your friends who are thinking about voting for Trump. Do they want practical solutions to serious public policy issues from a person who cares about the country and has the experience to get the job done, or do they want to just listen to the maniacal ravings of a narcissistic con artist for the next four years?