We are in a very critical moment in history right now. Americans are facing a brand-new health care bill, one that will shape the future of countless citizens’ health over time. Where many would say that previous efforts told health care have been lacking, many, too, might agree that current suggestions would be hugely detrimental for mental health care.

Healthcare’s Impact on Mental Health Care and Addiction Treatment

“Cuts in funding, inferior benefits for mental health and addiction treatments, higher premiums, and lack of protection for those with pre-existing conditions including mental illnesses” are some of what we can expect from the current edition of the new health care bill. While some other areas of focus are getting the attention they need, some others, such as the above care for those with addictions or issues of mental health, are lacking. In such a dire time where the need for care for these individuals is stronger than ever, we cannot afford to reduce the amount of care given.

It may be that some areas need to lose some ground in order for others to gain, but this is not the place to compromise. Too many people who rely on their current medical coverage for help with addiction or for mental health treatment will lose that aid. Things are difficult enough at present even with previous governmental support, and without it, things are sure to only grow worse over time.

“The American Psychiatric Association (APA), among several other prominent health groups, says it was not consulted during the formation of the new bill.” Without the input of the experts that know these issues best, how can our leaders formulate a plan that helps as many people as possible? It may be that the answer is ‘it can’t,’ and that more people now will suffer than before. With less coverage for those who need it the most, this updated health care plan is certainly not taking the necessary steps toward putting patients first.

So, what are the concrete consequences of this blow to American mental health care? For one thing, those dangerous stigmas and instances of discrimination that exist today will continue, rather than vanish. People will receive less easily-accessible care than before, and so many will not be able to seek it out. Though this is a matter of their being able to afford it, others may wrongfully believe that these patients are simply unwilling to find help. Without health insurance to cover the often-large costs, many will have to deal with their issues of mental health and addiction without true medical care.

Furthermore, those who suffer from one or both of mental disorders and addiction often make up part of the homelessness population within America. These issues, when untreated, can often begin a person down the path to losing their job, home, and more. Without direction, more and more people will suffer on the streets of our country. “If limited access to treatment due to inferior benefits and societal stigma has in any way played a part in the homeless epidemic in our country, just imagine the possibilities once change is finally made.”

Finally, thinking of young people and children should be a driving factor for change. The earlier something can be diagnosed and addressed, the better. Unfortunately, with less care available across the board, it will be more difficult to aid kids who are struggling with a mental health issue. Put simply, there is a huge population of people who need the kind of coverage that this bill could take away, so we can only hope that lawmakers think seriously about the consequences before taking this harmful action.

If you’re looking for mental health care or aid for addiction, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.