Washington, D.C. June 15, 2021 – Benjamin F. Miller, PsyD, Chief Strategy Officer of Well Being Trust, joined Michelle P. Durham, M.D. and Chantay D. Jett, M.A., today to testify before the U. S. Senate Committee on Finance. Dr. Miller provided testimony about America’s broken mental health system, the mental health impact of COVID-19, and the importance of addressing unmet needs for mental health and addiction services.
A recent Government Accountability Office report highlighted a multitude of issues at multiple levels for mental health, including ongoing challenges with health insurance, enforcing laws like mental health parity, and finding the right clinician who can help. Furthermore, in a survey released by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, almost 30 percent of people reported not seeking care because they did not know where to go.
Dr. Miller provided three key priorities for the committee to consider in its short- and long-term reforms for mental health.
“First and foremost, we need to bring mental health care to where people are. This includes schools, and even our workplaces, but to most immediately meet this moment, the best place to start is in primary care, the largest platform of health care delivery,” Dr. Miller said.
He added, “Second, we must reconsider the design and capabilities of our workforce. Demand for care has far outpaced the supply of mental health clinicians, and it is inconceivable to rely upon clinician recruitment strategies alone to meet our ever-growing need. And finally, we must modernize and connect our federal programs and systems to collaboratively solve for common mental health problems.”