- Since the tragic mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, Congress has been working to improve the mental health system.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has also taken a toll on people’s mental health, with four in 10 adults saying they experienced at least one mental health symptom during the pandemic.
- The bipartisan Safer Communities Act provides funding for community-accredited mental health clinics that provide 24/7 access to mental health crisis response, addiction treatment, and other services.
Since the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Congress has focused on finding ways to prevent similar tragedies and improve America’s mental health system. The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected people’s mental health. As of June 2020 interview According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 41% of US adults said they have at least one symptom of a mental disorder, and 11% said they seriously considered suicide in the past month. Young people suffer significantly more than older people. A bill has been introduced in the Senate to expand community behavioral health clinics, which sentence 24/7 care and access to mental health and drug treatment.
Coordination of mental health care brings results
Bipartisan Safer Communities Act expand demo program created Senators Blunt and Stabenow. The program, which is an outgrowth of the Mental Health Excellence Act that was signed into law in 2014, created certified community behavioral health clinics and was initially adopted as a two-year demonstration in eight states. Nine states are currently participating in the demonstration program.
These clinics sentence crisis services, including immediate checks, risk assessments and diagnostics. The idea is that people in need of help can contact the CCBHC for coordinated care, instead of going to the emergency room, which may not be equipped to handle mental health needs. By increasing the number of skilled workers available to provide care, these clinics fill critical break. It is estimated that the mental health workforce is currently only able to provide about 25% of the needed services; the deficit is even greater in rural areas.
Participating CCBHCs reported a decrease in the number of emergency room visits and hospital stays covered by Medicare and Medicaid. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, people who received CCBHC care for six months or more It was 63.2% fewer emergency room visits for mental health issues last year. People receiving coordinated behavioral health care also had 40.7% less homelessness and 60.3% less time spent in prison.
CCBHC facilities may also operate in non-demonstration states through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration grants, although they do not receive the full range of benefits. There are currently over 430 CCBHCs and similar institutions, according to the National Board of Mental Health. open in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.
The bipartisan Safer Communities Act also includes additional investment in mental health, in the hope that a more comprehensive and accessible mental health system in the country will help prevent violence. The bill provides additional funding for mental health and safety in schools, including mental health services; financing of primary health care training; mental health block grant; and suicide prevention programs. Every year every fifth person an experience a mental health condition that is diagnosable and almost always treatable and should be treated with the same care as physical ailments. Most people with mental health problems do not pose a danger to society and are more likely to be victims of crime than criminals. The bipartisan legislation will expand the CCBHC model at the national level to help more people get health care. It is critical to coordinate patient care and make the mental health system more accessible so that people are not afraid to use it.