U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday outlined a sweeping mental health agenda that would integrate the mental health services into the nation’s health care system.
According to the plan released by the Clinton campaign, the initiatives would expand reimbursement structures in Medicare and Medicaid and a national initiative for suicide prevention would also be launched.
According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, the overall rate of suicide in the United States increased by 24 percent between 1999 and 2014.
Clinton’s plan would also aim to enforce the nation’s mental health laws, which are “too often ignored or not enforced,” said the campaign in a statement.
As a result of the new plan, randomised audits would be launched to detect violations and disclosure requirements be enforced to prevent insurers from concealing their practices for denying mental health care.
Meanwhile, as previous studies showed that one in every 10 police encounters may involve individuals with some type of mental health issues, the new plan would also seek to prepare law enforcement officials for dealing with people with mental health problems.
“Her (Clinton’s) goal is that within her time in office, Americans will no longer separate mental health from physical health when it comes to access to care or quality of treatment,” said the statement, adding that if elected, Clinton would also hold a White House conference on mental health within her first year in office.
According to a government study, about one in five U.S. adults, or about 43.6 million nationwide, had mental health issues in 2014.