Health Affairs: Funders Support Mental Health Care: COVID-19 And Before

The Bipartisan Policy Center has launched a Behavioral Health Integration Task Force, according to an April 2020 press release. Funded by Well Being Trust, the Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans, and the New York Community Trust, the panel aims “to improve the integration of primary and behavioral health care to achieve better health outcomes and reduce costs.” Cochairs are Patrick Kennedy, John E. Sununu, Sheila Burke, and Richard Frank. The release cited a statistic that forty-seven million Americans “reported having a mental illness” in the past year. The task force has already issued two policy recommendations: “expand access to telehealth” and “bolster training for an integrated care workforce.” Specifically, they recommend that Congress allocate money to the Health Resources and Services Administration for “fast-tracked targeted training” for primary care physicians, nurses, and others “emphasizing evidence-based practices, [and] interventions to address immediate mental health needs due to COVID-19.” The panel plans to release a report in 2021.
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