Odds are low that mental health will be a priority in tonight’s first Presidential Debate. That’s a shame considering that one in five Americans have a mental health disorder, 50% of those people don’t get care, and 40,000 take their own lives every year.
Although mental health is a bipartisan issue, only one Presidential candidate has a clear plan for how to improve the nation’s mental health over the next four years. I’ve already explained why I’m With Her, but not why Clinton’s mental health agenda rocks so hard.
1. Clinton’s plan includes a national initiative to prevent suicide— which would invest $50 million to develop programs on invest in programs in high schools and colleges campuses.
2. Her agenda would integrate the mental and physical health care, since your brain is connected to your body and really doesn’t need it a separate (but not equal) medical system.
3. The plan would increase training for police who are often the first responders to a mental health crisis. Sadly, people with mental illness are 16 times more likely than others to be killed in encounters with police than anyone else.
4. Clinton would enforce mental health parity to the full extent of the law, so it would not be OK for you to pay more to see a mental health pro than another specialist.
5. Her plan would create supportive housing and employment programs that make it easier for people with serious mental illness to live and work.
6. And because, she believes in science, Clinton would invest in brain and behavior research to develop more effective treatments.