Some $50 million will come through the Affordable Care Act to help community centers provide more mental health services. The second half of the money, made available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will help finance rural mental health facilities.
our mental health system and expanding access to mental health care are
essential components of gun violence prevention,"
the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans are gaining access to the
mental health services they need, but otherwise wouldn't have. While
we know those
living with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of crime
than perpetrators, making sure those who need care can get care makes
our communities safer and helps prevent and reduce gun violence."
In February, Thompson's Gun Violence Prevention Task Force released a comprehensive set of policy principles designed to reduce gun violence while respecting the Second Amendment Rights of law-abiding Americans. While recognizing that the vast majority of people living with a mental illness are non-violent and are far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators, one of the task force's principles focused exclusively on expanding access to mental health care and improving our nation's mental health care system.
Under the ACA, mental health and substance abuse disorder care is being expanded to approximately 60 million Americans -- including 7,559,000 Californians -- representing one of the largest expansions of mental health and substance use disorder coverage in a generation.
Because of the health care law, for the first time insurance companies in the individual and small group market are required to cover mental health and substance use disorder services at parity with medical and surgical benefits. This means mental health care must be offered at costs comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care.
estimated one in five adults experiences a mental illness in any given
year. While most mental illnesses are treatable, those with mental
illness too often
cannot access needed treatment if they do not have health insurance
that covers mental health services.
The Affordable Care Act requires most health plans to cover recommended preventive services like depression screenings for adults and behavioral assessments for children at no cost to consumers. And, because of the law, starting in 2014 insurers will not be able to deny coverage or charge individuals more due to pre-existing conditions, including mental illnesses.