March 2, 2022 (Oakland, CA) – Today, Well Being Trust released a statement in support of President Joe Biden’s comprehensive strategy to reform mental health in America. Announced during his first State of the Union, President Biden is charting a path forward to strengthen the capacity of mental health systems, increase access to services to connect more individuals to care, and create a distinct societal shift in the way Americans think about and receive care.
“For far too long, the mental health crisis was a mere talking point spoken to garner support for a widespread and heartbreaking epidemic across our country. It’s refreshing to see a President take such decisive action to solve some pretty complex issues in the mental health space,” said Benjamin Miller, PsyD, president of Well Being Trust. “I applaud the multipronged, national response put forward by President Biden and his administration. Many tenets of this plan, if enacted, have the potential to change the lives of tens of millions of Americans for the better.”
“Well Being Trust is extremely encouraged by the proposal laid out in the president’s first State of the Union,” Miller added. “Now it is time to turn those words into action. The overhaul of mental health systems in the United States is critical to the health of our population and we stand ready to continue our work in support of these measures.”
During his address, President Biden referenced the following priorities:
- Beating the opioid epidemic – He noted, “There is so much we can do. Increase funding for prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery. Get rid of outdated rules that stop doctors from prescribing treatments. And stop the flow of illicit drugs by working with state and local law enforcement to go after traffickers.”
- Taking on mental health, especially among our children – President Biden expressed urgency in expanding access and strengthening mental health parity. He stated, “… let’s get all Americans the mental health services they need. More people they can turn to for help, and full parity between physical and mental health care.”
Additionally, a fact sheet released by the White House includes the following key focus areas in the President’s strategy:
- The President’s FY23 budget will invest $700 million in programs that bring providers into behavioral health including programs like the National Health Service Corps, Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program, and the Minority Fellowship Program – that provide training, access to scholarships and loan repayment to mental health and substance use disorder clinicians committed to practicing in rural and other underserved communities.
- The President’s FY23 budget will propose that all health plans cover robust behavioral health services with an adequate network of providers, including three mental health visits each year without cost-sharing, in accordance with the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
- Over $400 million increase for the Full-Service Community School program, which provide wraparound supports, including mental health services.
Read the full White House Fact Sheet here, and view the full transcript from the President’s State of the Union Address here.
Since its founding in 2017, Well Being Trust has worked alongside dozens of partners to transform the health of our nation and improve well-being for everyone. Most recently, this work includes:
- Partnering with Inseparable, a mental health advocacy nonprofit, to support the Hopeful Futures Campaign – a broad coalition of leading national organizations working to promote mental health support systems in America’s schools. Read the recently released report: America’s School Mental Health Report Card
- Joining forces with Harvard Medical School to lay the groundwork to launch Community Initiated Care to build skills to improve mental health and to scale and spread mental health and well-being skills and capacities across America’s communities. Learn more about our work with Harvard here.
- Working with Bipartisan Policy Center on recommendations to make mental health a part of Americans’ primary and behavioral health care experience. View the recommendations in the report: Tackling America’s Mental health and Addiction Crisis Through Primary Care Integration
Media Contact: Amy Shields, MA
Director of Communications
About Well Being Trust
Well Being Trust is an impact philanthropy dedicated to advancing the mental, social, and spiritual health of the United States.
We believe the health of our mind is inseparable from the health of our body and spirit. Our goal is to save lives from deaths of despair and to increase equitable well-being for all. We are committed to improving systems of care, coverage, and community conditions as essential to addressing the most critical mental health challenges facing America.
For more information, visit wellbeingtrust.org and follow us on Twitter, @WellBeingTrust.