Hillary Clinton rolled out her mental health policy plan Monday with several wide-ranging initiatives targeting various mental health disorders and a broad promise to prioritize mental health reform. Clinton also said she plans to hold a White House conference on mental health policy within her first year as president.
A key element of Clinton’s policy is to prioritize “treatment over jail,” including treatment options for those with addictions, as well as efforts to reach out to veterans and college students. It also boosts a nationwide suicide prevent initiative, new job and housing opportunities, and improved integration of mental health services into a national system. Clinton also pledged to increase research investment..
The Clinton campaign stated the plan would “finally [be] putting the treatment of mental health on par with that of physical health.”
Mental health policy may be an issue on which Democrats and Republicans can agree, as the Republican-controlled Congress has been pushing reform in this area for years — though often in response to Democrats’ calls for gun control measures in the wake of mass shootings.
According to a 2014 study, nearly 44 million adults in the U.S. experienced mental health issues that year.
“The next generation must grow up knowing that mental health is a key component of overall health and there is no shame, stigma, or barriers to seeking out care,” the plan states.
Photo: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to Vice-President Joe Biden speak as they campaign together during an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller