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President Trump Issues Executive Order on Behavioral Health

Oct 06, 2020
The President signed an executive order that could increase access to mental health services for those suffering from behavioral health issues exacerbated by the global health pandemic.

On Monday, October 5th, President Trump signed an executive order that could potentially increase access to mental health services for those suffering from behavioral health issues exacerbated by the global health pandemic.

“My administration is committed to preventing the tragedy of suicide, ending the opioid crisis, and improving mental and behavioral health. The pandemic has also exacerbated mental and behavioral-health conditions as a result of stress from prolonged lockdown orders, lost employment, and social isolation,” said Trump.

The President has also issued a national call to action which includes provisions that will address many of the behavioral health needs of the country; such as suicide prevention, avoiding drug-related deaths, and decreasing poor behavioral-health outcomes. The provisions include:

  • Providing crisis-intervention services to treat those in immediate life-threatening situations.
  • Increasing the availability of and access to quality continuing care following initial crisis resolution to improve behavioral-health outcomes.
  • Permitting and encouraging safe in-person mentorship programs; support-group participation; and attendance at communal facilities, including schools, civic centers, and houses of worship.
  • Increasing the availability of telehealth and online mental health and substance use tools and service.
  • Marshalling public and private resources to address deteriorating mental health, such as factors that contribute to prolonged unemployment and social isolation.
  • Establishing a Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group to facilitate an “all-of-government” response to the mental health conditions induced or exacerbated by the pandemic, including issues related to suicide prevention.

Within 45 days of the date of the executive order, the Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group will develop and submit to the President a report that outlines a plan for improved service coordination between all relevant public and private stakeholders, executive departments and agencies to assist individuals in crisis, so that they receive effective treatment and recovery services.

ACA will monitor the executive order and will keep you updated with any developments. If you would like to become involved in ACA’s advocacy efforts, please contact us at advocacy@counseling.org.

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