Mental Health Should Be Discussed By The Candidates
There are 42.5 million Americans who suffering from some form of mental illness. That’s roughly 18 percent of the country suffers from anything bipolar disorder to depression or even schizophrenia. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which compiled the data, also found that 9 million people (4 percent) of those Americans experience a mental illness so bad that it affects their day-to-day activities such as work.
In short, this is a problem that affects millions of Americans and something that should be a part of the presidential debate. But like many issues in this debate, it hasn’t come up and it’s lost in all of the “show” that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are putting on for the American people. Both candidates had three opportunities to discuss mental health as part of the debate but instead focused on Emmys and emails.
Aside from this, like the other issues, affecting millions of Americans having both candidates discuss their policies regarding mental health care is important. It’s an epidemic that isn’t getting discussed like it should. There are some statistics that show how Americans can combat mental illnesses as 70-90 percent of people who participated in some form of treatment saw an improvement of their quality of life. So why isn’t the American public learning what the next President of the United States can do to ensure that 42.5 million gets help.
So what is Donald Trump’s or Hillary Clinton’s plans for health care reform that can help with the mental illness that so many Americans struggle with daily?
Donald Trump’s Mental Health Policies
Let’s start with Trump. Based on Mr. Trump’s website, his plan involves getting rid of Obamacare–a staple in the Republican platform—and creating jobs in the process.
“Since March of 2010, the American people have had to suffer under the incredible economic burden of the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare,” Trump’s website reads. “Obamacare has raised the economic uncertainty of every single person residing in this country. As it appears Obamacare is certain to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed free market reforms to the healthcare industry.”
As for specific mental healthcare reform, the Trump campaign doesn’t seem to have any programs or suggestions on that.
“Finally, we need to reform our mental health programs and institutions in this country. Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones,” the site reads. “There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.”
If Americans were looking to find out what Trump’s actual policy regarding mental health care is, they would be hard pressed to do so. They would have to do some serious digging through all of the other issues such as his sexual assault allegations or each time his campaign has undergone a change.
Again, Trump’s built a campaign based off rhetoric and words but with no actual policy that could affect voters on November 8th.
Hillary Clinton’s Mental Health Policy
As for his opponent, there’s no question as to whether Hillary Clinton has some form of substantial policy. Her campaign has been built around it but the question is how does it affect those 42 million Americans?
Clinton’s campaign first and foremost has done what many wouldn’t think is possible. They’ve helped defeat the stigma regarding mental health. It’s an unnecessary stigma since this affects so many people but it is a stigma all the same.
“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 campaign announced when the released their mental health care information.
Clinton’s policies include increased funding for mental health community centers. The policy would also require adequate insurance coverage for those who suffer from psychiatric disorders. The policy does focus on early child intervention and also those who suffer a crisis or maternal depression.
“The detailed mental health plan outlined by Hillary Clinton is sweeping in nature and, if enacted, would greatly improve the nation’s mental health care system,” Maria A. Oquendo, president of the American Psychiatric Association, said in a statement. “All of these measures are huge steps in the right direction.”
This presidential election has a lot of issues from both candidates that have less than satisfying answers. It also hasn’t helped that media hasn’t been doing the proper vetting in terms of informing the public. However, with the amount of Americans suffering from some form of mental health, one would think this would be a large campaign issue.