Mental Health Policy Analysis

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The intended audience for this policy brief are congressmen and senators. Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) who represents Virginia’s 9th district will be a point of contact as he currently sits on the Subcommittee on Health under the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Senator Creigh Deeds (R-VA) will be a valuable asset because of his connections to the Mental Health Services in the Twenty-First Century, Joint Subcommittee to Study. Background and Scope of the Problem: Over the past decade the issue of mental health has been pushed to the forefront due to an increase in public acts of violence. “According to national statistics, in the past year, it is estimated that 20% of adults (age 18 years or older) experienced some form of behavioral…show more content…
It is not surprising that a majority of those people said that inability to pay was a major reason for not receiving treatment, as mental health disorders rank among the five most expensive conditions in the United States (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014). Costs for mental health disorders have also increased from $35.2 billion in 1996 to $57.5 billion in 2006 (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014). As previously stated, access to a mental health provider is a huge barrier for people with SMI. Psychiatric nurse practitioners only make up 3.7% of all advanced practice nurses (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2015). The national estimate for number of working nurse practitioners is 205,000, which means that there are only 7,585 psychiatric nurse practitioners for all fifty states or approximately 151 per state (American Association of Nurse Practitioners,…show more content…
The aim of this report is to increase awareness and funding for those people suffering from SMI who at this time are unable to access or afford the proper health care that they need. Policy Options The following are several federal legislative policy options that would help improve access to healthcare for people with SMI. • In May 2009 the Improving the Quality of Mental and Substance Use Health Care Act (H.R. 2369), was introduced by Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI). This act would create national centers of excellence in mental health and substance use (H.R. 2369, 2009). Each center would have to: 1. “Integrate basic, clinical, or health service research with interventions in a range of usual settings of care delivery and involve a broad cross-section of mental health and substance use health care stakeholders” (H.R. 2369,

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