Hillary Clinton, Democratic nominee, released a plan on Monday to address the mental health issues. The proposal aims to close the gaps in the U.S. mental health system, and uses President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as a springboard for reform.
The plan takes a multi-prong approach to mental health care, and aims to eliminate the separation between mental and physical health when it comes to quality of care and access. Early diagnosis and intervention are the key focal points of the plan, and the Democratic nominee also proposes the creation of a national initiative to prevent suicide.
Clinton plans to hold a conference on mental health within her first year as president if elected in November.
The Democratic nominee’s policy proposal states, “While the right laws are on the books, they are too often ignored or not enforced.” Clinton says, as president, these laws would be enforced and randomized insight would be implemented.
According to estimates from the government in 2014, there are 43.6 million adults in the country who had mental illness. That equates to about 1 in 5 adults over the age of 18. The government estimates that approximately 10 million suffer from serious mental health issues.
Adults aren’t the only ones affected by mental illness. It is estimated that 17 million children experience mental health issues, and that includes 1 in 5 college students, according to ABC News.
Under the plan, reimbursement systems would be expanded for Medicaid and Medicare mental health care models.