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Biden Plan Will Tackle Mental Health Crisis in America

Biden Plan Will Tackle Mental Health Crisis in America

President Joe Biden has announced a new plan to expand mental health and drug abuse treatment, which will allocate millions of dollars to suicide prevention, mental health services for youth, and community clinics that will provide crisis care around the clock. Biden is the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Under the idea, which was announced during Vice President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address earlier this week, health insurers would also be required to cover three mental health consultations each year at no additional cost to patients.

Biden will need to secure support from members of Congress from both parties in order to see the proposal through to completion. Mental health and drug misuse are intertwined in every state, and the epidemic has resulted in an increase in rates of sadness and anxiety among the general public.

“Let’s make sure that every American has access to the mental health care they need,” Biden said during his address. “More folks will be able to seek assistance. As well as complete parity between physical and mental health treatment if we regard them as separate entities under our insurance policies.”

Hannah Wesolowski, of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, expressed her approval of the strategy in a statement. In an interview with the Associated Press, she said that “this is a vital agenda that benefits every American.”

For months, members of Congress have expressed support for the notion on a bipartisan basis. The Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions have both conducted hearings with a bipartisan emphasis, according to the Associated Press. Hearings were also conducted in the House of Representatives by the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.

According to mental health activists, such a continuous emphasis on mental health concerns is uncommon.

As the Associated Press reported, “I cannot recall a period when every committee of jurisdiction had hearings on mental health.” Charles Ingoglia, head of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, said such was not the case. “There have been instances when we have gone years without having a specific hearing on mental health.”

Biden’s strategy has a particular emphasis on school-age children and adolescents. The forthcoming budget will provide $1 billion to assist schools in hiring counselors, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals. In addition, $5 million would be allocated in the budget for research into the impact of social media on children.

In addition, the federal government will establish a new suicide prevention hotline number — 988 — to be used by the public. As part of Biden’s proposal, approximately $700 million would be allocated to local crisis centers that will be able to perform follow-up.

The plan also calls for the continuation of an experimental program that has increased access to mental health and drug misuse treatment on a 24-hour-a-day basis. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics are patterned after federally supported community health clinics, which have established themselves as a cornerstone of basic medical treatment in low-income areas throughout the country. Peer counselors who have survived their own trauma are relied upon by mental health clinics to assist others in overcoming their difficulties. According to the Associated Press, bipartisan support exists for the method.

Not to mention, the proposal promises to boost the number of mental health professionals in the United States via the allocation of over $700 million in funding to programs that offer training, scholarships, and debt payback. Biden also wants to create professional standards for peer counselors, which would be funded by the federal government.

If the idea becomes a reality, Dr. Megan Ranney expects to see a reduction in the number of people who visit the emergency departments where she works in Rhode Island. People suffering from mental health and drug addiction issues would have greater opportunities to seek treatment before things spiral out of hand.

“The catastrophe does not develop overnight,” Ranney told the Associated Press. “Generally speaking, it’s something that’s been simmering for a long. And then, when the situation becomes dire enough, they have nowhere to turn and wind up spending days or even weeks in the emergency room.”

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