Health Policy Analysis Selection Summary
Dr. HaunFebruary 7, 2022
Health Policy Analysis Selection Summary
A policy issue that is contemporary in the United States is access and coverage of mental healthcare. Using data from Mental Health America in 2020, there was over 4.7 million adults with a mental illness that were uninsured. This could be due to Medicaid not being expanded in some states of the country. It was also reported that over 26 million adults who have a mental illness were gone untreated. With the lack of health behavior providers throughout the counties of the United States, this could be a reason as well (Beck et al., 2018). These barriers show possibly why Americans cannot gain access and coverage.
The environment surrounded by this policy is trying to allow more individuals access to mental healthcare. This would start with trying to get more individuals covered for this type of healthcare treatment. The Biden-Harris administration has been campaigning Connecting Kids to Coverage. This is a national outreach and enrollment initiative that reaches out to families with children and teens eligible for Medicaid and CHIP (Improving access and care for…, 2021). This sort of initiative shows what can be accomplished to allow for more Americans to have coverage. With also the lack of acknowledgement and awareness about mental health is done through this as well.
Mental health has been looked down on in the past and in recent years, but this topic is starting to gain some spotlight. It is important to notice our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, all are part of our mental health. It has an impact on how we think, feel, and act in our daily lives. It also influences how we deal with stress, interact with people, and make decisions. Mental health is crucial at all stages of life, from birth to adolescent to adulthood and old age (Mental health, 2021). From a manager’s perspective, this would negatively impact my organization if my employees were not taken care of. The organization would not be able to function smoothly or properly if my employees are not able to think, feel, and act suitably.
My ideas of solutions for this policy issue vary. I believe gaining access and coverage should start with bringing more awareness to mental health and how detrimental this can be to one’s health if not taken care of. So, campaigning for awareness and the different types of health services available then can we focus on gaining coverage. The following are some bullet pointed ideas of different solutions.
Using influential celebrities to spread awareness and importance of mental health and services
Expansion of Medicaid
Increase of funding to train and develop behavioral health workers
Creating more Urgent Care like behavior health centers
More tele-psychiatry support
Prevention of mental health disorders
To make any of the policies successful, having key stakeholders are imperative. Stakeholders such as consumer/family groups, mental health workers, government agencies, and academic institutions. Consumer/family groups should consist of individuals speaking on the behalf of their own healthcare treatments. Mental health workers from general health and mental health facilities should talk about their knowledge about mental health and their services. Government agencies such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and Mental Health America. Academic institutions also being involved would influence thousands of people. I wouldn’t think barrier stakeholders would exist in this process. The only individuals I could think to stop people from gaining access to treatment is the media. The media can perceive mentally ill individuals as a burden and make people believe they are not normal people.
2020 access to Care Data. Mental Health America. (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.mhanational.org/issues/2020/mental-health-america-access-care-data
Beck, A. J., Page, C., Buche, J., Rittman, D., & Gaiser, M. (2018, December). Estimating the distribution of the U.S. psychiatric … University of Michigan Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://behavioralhealthworkforce.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Y3-FA2-P2-Psych-Sub_Full-Report-FINAL2.19.2019.pdf
Mental health policy plans and program (updated version). Geneva, World Health Organization, 2005 (Mental Health Policy and Service Guidance Package).
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021, September 1). Mental health. MedlinePlus. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/mentalhealth.html
The United States Government. (2021, October 19). Fact sheet: Improving access and care for youth mental health and substance use conditions. The White House. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/10/19/fact-sheet-improving-access-and-care-for-youth-mental-health-and-substance-use-conditions/