The White House Conference on Mental Health brings together people from across the country, including mental health advocates, educators, health care providers, faith leaders, members of Congress, representatives from local governments and individuals who have struggled with mental health problems, to discuss how we can all work together to reduce stigma and help the millions of Americans struggling with mental health problems recognize the importance of reaching out for assistance.
Today’s conference topics include:
- Expanding Mental Health Coverage. The Affordable Care Act will expand mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections for 62 million Americans. In addition, thanks to the health care law, beginning in 2014, insurers will no longer be able to deny anyone coverage because of a pre-existing mental health condition. The law already ensures that new health plans cover recommended preventive benefits without cost sharing, including depression screening for adults and adolescents and behavioral assessments for children.
- Supporting Young People. The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget includes a new $130 million initiative to help teachers and other adults recognize signs of mental illness in students and refer them to help if needed, support innovative state-based programs to improve mental health outcomes for young people ages 16-to-25, and help train 5,000 additional mental health professionals with a focus on serving students and young adults.
- Improving Access to Services for Veterans. In response to the President’s Executive Order in August of 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs has achieved their goal of increasing capacity by hiring 1,600 new mental health providers, over 300 peer-to-peer veteran specialists, establishing 24 pilot projects in nine states where VA is partnering with community mental health providers to help Veterans access mental health services in a timely way and enhancing the capacity of its Crisis Line by 50 percent.
More about the White House Conference on Mental Health:
www.whitehouse.gov/live (live stream)