Focus Federal Funding on Needed Mental Health Research:
- Kamala will direct federal funds to seek better treatment for mental illness and research on mental health issues more broadly, including research on adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and the use of interventions that reduce homelessness, arrest, incarceration, and unnecessary hospitalization.
Expand Coverage of and Access to Mental Health Services:
- Through her Medicare for All plan, Kamala will deliver mental health on demand via telemedicine, providing care by phone or video to all Americans whenever and wherever they need it—all without deductibles or copays.
- A shortage of mental health professionals harms American families and communities. It also drives provider stress and burnout. Kamala will authorize an educational loan forgiveness program for mental health professionals that agree to practice in areas with a shortage of providers.
Increase Access to Hospitals, Housing, and Other Care Facilities:
- Kamala will double the number of treatment beds nationwide, prioritizing states with shortages, including Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, and Michigan, so persons with mental illness can receive the high levels of care they need.
- She’ll repeal the Institutions of Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion, which precludes Medicaid funding for adults receiving care in psychiatric facilities with more than 16 beds and has exacerbated a severe shortage of acute psychiatric care beds nationwide.
Focus on Vulnerable Populations:
- Double U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs (VA) research dollars to address and treat PTSD, military sexual trauma, and traumatic brain injury.
- Invest in evidence-based screenings for childhood trauma—including the fact that poverty is trauma-inducing—to diagnose and treat mental illness as early as possible.
End the Mental-Illness-to-Jail Pipeline:
- Kamala will expand Crisis Intervention Team training, which integrates specialized police, mental health professionals, EMS, 911 systems, and hospital emergency rooms in response to mental health crisis calls.