Make Mental Health Care for All a Top Priority

Target: Xavier Becerra, Secretary of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Goal: Expand mental health care access and services for Americans who cannot afford it.

National Mental Health Day served as a stark reminder of the reality of mental illness in the United States. Although millions of Americans have been diagnosed with a mental disorder (with untold numbers more going undiagnosed), fewer than 50 percent of afflicted individuals receive needed care. And for children, that number plummets to fewer than 30 percent. Lack of affordable access continues to be a significant barrier.

Although federal law requires insurance companies affiliated with the Affordable Care Act to offer mental health coverage equal to traditional coverage, for Americans who cannot afford these–or any– plans the prospects are much bleaker. Medicare and Medicaid both offer mental health coverage, but qualification guidelines for these programs can leave behind a large percentage of Americans. And even with qualification, coverage for the costly prescriptions that are often required for serious mental illnesses is not guaranteed. Free clinics and community centers, while a solid option for individuals with limited resources, can vary widely in their availability by region. As a consequence, countless individuals cannot even secure a consultation, leading to serious mental declines with often tragic results.

Sign the petition below to demand more advocacy for increased mental health access for all.


Dear Secretary Becerra,

“Mental health care is healthcare…I want everyone in America not to feel isolated or alone, to know their country has their back.” The president relayed these words when championing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. While this legislation did close important loopholes for mental health access for insured individuals, it does not address the critical needs of the abundance of Americans who remain uninsured because of inequities like the Medicaid Gap. To this day, far too many adults and children do not receive the mental health care that could quite literally save their lives.

For low-income individuals and families, this deprivation of yet another crucial service compounds their suffering. A disproportionate number of the houseless have at least one mental illness, indicating the brutal cycle that awaits Americans who need stability to uplift their economic standing but whose circumstances prevent them from ever attaining this stability. And for Americans in their darkest hours who can find no helping hand, the consequences can be even more tragic.

Whether it be fighting for the medically needy clause to become an ingrained aspect of Medicaid, whether it be investing in more low-cost and free clinical options at the federal level, whether it be expanding Medicare prescription coverage, or all and more of the above, please do everything in your power to ensure every American has unhindered access to life-affirming and life-saving mental health services.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska

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