One of the biggest steps in dealing with mental illness comes in eliminating the stigma and discrimination that individuals with mental illness face.
There are benefits in the new healthcare law for the mentally ill but these benefits are lost in the quagmire of confusion and misinformation associated with other components of the law. Wading through all of this, mental health professionals need to keep one important fact in mind: If President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is altered, defunded, or repealed, the potential to effectively treat mental illness will also lapse. And the problem will continue to affect us all as a society.
Consider all of the shootings that have taken place in just this past year in malls, on schools campuses, and in other public areas.
Just witness all of the shootings that have taken place, in malls, other public areas and on school campuses, just in the last year.
All mental health professionals should recognize that any reform in health insurance is also a reform in the way the mentally ill are treated. Now is the time to transform the health care system and and implement necessary investments that can bring about true and consistent help individuals with mental illness.
The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) has launched a campaign to aid mental health counselors by spotlighting key provisions in the Affordable Care Act that impact individuals with mental health conditions and the implications for mental health counselors. Through webinars, special reports, social media, working groups, virtual teams, and forums on best practices, AMHCA will better position mental health care providers so that they can effectively provide the necessary care to treat individuals with mental illness.
The landscape is changing for administering healthcare, especially with respect to counseling patients with mental illness. Counselors will need to understand the provisions in the ACA that point specifically to how they provide care to those with mental illness. It is critical that such care transcend the written word of a government document and become part of the lexicon of mental health. However, only through the expert application by mental health professionals can such changes be made in society.