Impact of Trump’s presidency on America’s mental health care

Impact of Trump's presidency on America’s mental health care

Come the new year and Donald Trump shall swear in as the new president of the United States on January 20, 2017. In order to showcase his potential as the future president of the world’s most powerful nation, Trump made a conscious effort to touch every aspect affecting the country, including mental health, which remains neglected despite a marked increase in patients in recent times.

Trump by highlighting his intention to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, with market-based health care reform measures has created controversy and opened a sea of discussion among medical professionals and policymakers.

Overall, Obamacare primarily deals with mental health by providing affordable health care services accessible to as many people as possible, especially those not insured by their employers. Therefore, Trump’s statement regarding a complete repeal of the Act created an uproar among the people. However, many missed out on his commitment to reach out to more people with mental illnesses by introducing reforms.

More treatment options and preventive programs in the pipeline

Highlighting his commitment to retain the supremacy of the U.S. on all fronts, Trump’s website features a page called “Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again.” Although the website primarily focuses on repealing Obamacare, it also talks about retaining some of the popular features of the Act, including guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing youngsters claim on their parents’ insurance as well.

With approximately one in five adults in the U.S. experiencing mental illness every year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the existing number of mental health workforce of psychologists, psychiatrists, and behavioral health specialists are not able to meet the needs of the growing number of people suffering from such disorders. Nearly 4,071 geographical areas in the country reported to having severe shortage of mental health care professionals. Trump’s recognition of the shortage of workforce is well evident from his focus on protecting the Second Amendment rights and fixing the “broken mental health system.”

Moreover, Trump also associated mental illness with mass violence, where he talked about tragic deaths and murders that resulted from an underlying mental disorder. Trump has underlined in one of the sections of his website the need to repair the damaged mental health care system and strongly recommended expansion in treatment and preventive programs. He also talked about reforming certain laws and provide healthcare accessibilities to one and all, without exception.

Empower families and reform treatment programs

By providing coverage to around 20 million Americans, the ACA stabilized the current health care system by increasing coverage and workforce. With Trump taking the charge, he would have to ensure that none of the changes take away access to mental health care services from the people currently covered under the Obamacare. This might debar many from accessing mental health care treatments.

In the context of mental health, Trump mentioned, “Finally, we need to reform our mental health programs and institutions in this country. Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones. There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.”

The above statement undoubtedly underlines Trump’s clarity about the right ways to address the challenges related to mental health, which has specifically risen in the youngsters. By empowering the families, patients can easily recover from any mental disorder.

Be optimistic, seek treatment

With almost few days to go for Trump taking on the charge as the president, the entire country is brimming with anticipations about his new code of conduct and regulations. While many people are skeptical about the new reforms to be introduced by him, a majority of people are optimistic and are looking forward to positive and progressive amendments, especially in mental health. What is ultimately important is taking care of a patient with mental disorder and giving him or her access to the best treatment for mental health.

If you or your loved one is battling some form of mental disorder, get connected to the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to learn about the best mental health programs in the U.S. You can also call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online to know more about mental health and mental disorders. Our mental health experts can also help you find the mental health rehabilitation centers near you.

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