Providing access to mental health treatment has become more important in recent years. During the COVID pandemic, lockdowns and isolation worsened existing mental health challenges, with students and children most impacted. A recent study reports that 37% of students struggled with their mental health during lockdowns, and one quarter of respondents had contemplated suicide in the 30 days prior to completing the survey. Last year alone, 30% of teenage girls surveyed by the CDC reported seriously considered suicide.
As a country, we can no longer ignore the country’s worsening mental health. In Congress, we have been working to ensure mental health and substance abuse treatment is within reach, by:
- Supporting mental health care collaboration and resources in schools;
- Providing law enforcement officers with the support they need to offer lifesaving assistance to those suffering with mental health and substance abuse crises;
- Addressing the shortfall of inpatient mental health care by working to increase the number of psychiatric hospital beds available to patients, and;
- Prioritizing funding for mental health resources in rural and agricultural communities.