Addressing mental health and well-being throughout the country is increasingly becoming more important.
We live in a time when overdose deaths – particularly amongst our young people – are at a record high. However, it is not as simple as getting people off drugs. As we continue to grow as a country, we are beginning to recognize how much more connected mental health and addiction are and, even more so, that our government needs to step in and take greater actions to address it. Luckily, congress most recently presented a package of bills under the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022.
What does this mean?
The country, as a whole, is beginning to move in the right direction. As of June 22nd, 2022, the House of Representatives passed two bills to “bolster mental health and biomedical research innovation”. Additionally, the act already consists of previously given bills that aid in the increased awareness and action towards mental health issues and addiction:
- Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT)
- Meditation Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act
- Opiod Treatment Access Act
- Parity implementation Assistance Act and Closing Health Coverafe Gaps for Public Servants Act
- 988 Implementation Act
- Into the Light for Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Act
- Excellence in Recovery Housing Act
In addition to the list above, these two additional bills within the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 would:
- Reauthorize key programs that support prevention, treatment and recovery services.
- Expand access to medications for addiction treatment.
- Increase parity enforcement.
- Increase integration of behavioral health in primary care.
- Support education and training programs to bolster the behavioral health care workforce.
- Support crisis intervention services.
- Expand screening and treatment services for maternal mental health and addiction.
- Promote quality recovery housing.
- Expand access to pediatric mental health care.
This bill also “expands access to opiod and other substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery support services.” Though there is available assistance and resources to aid individuals who are addicted to opioids and other substances, many restrictions and limitations would no longer be applied. For example, it has been stated that this bill “(1) eliminates a provision that generally requires individuals to be addicted to opioids for at least a year before being admitted to to an opioid treatment program and (2) promotes acces to high-quality recovery housing.”
Changes to our current policies and legislation related to mental health and addiction allows us to not only help those who are fighting to a path of sobriety and mental health now, but to deter addiction and mental health issues in the future. As a country, it seems as though we are finally taking steps for long-term success.