Expanding Access to Mental Health Care

There is a growing consensus that we have a behavioral health crisis in this country, a crisis that has become more pronounced during the pandemic. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) has consistently found that over half of adults with a substance use or mental health diagnosis do not receive treatment for their behavioral health condition — that is more than 40 million adults. Several prominent organizations, including the AAP, AACAP, and CHA, have declared "a national emergency in children's mental health." In the decade before the pandemic rates of childhood mental health concerns had been steadily increasing; suicides now represent the second leading cause of death for children, adolescents and young adults. This is not an issue that will be solved by one innovation, one policy, or one health care sector. NEHI's agenda reflects the need to share promising treatments and pursue policies and practices that provide access to effective care for those who are most vulnerable.

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