Mental health advocacy is a growing concern for people not only seeking treatment in the DC metro area, but in the United States and around the world. Studies indicate that rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality are increasing — especially among young people and adolescents. Rates of substance use disorder are also high and climbing for many segments of our population.
Ensuring that patients have access to affordable and effective mental healthcare is important. While the Affordable Care Act of 2010 ushered in a new focus on achieving parity between the treatment of mental health conditions and other medical conditions, getting the comprehensive care needed to address the complex issues of mental health disorders and addiction remains challenging for many individuals and families in need. Additionally, the stigma surrounding these issues keeps people from seeking the help they need.
Making high quality comprehensive mental healthcare available requires change and mental health advocacy – some of which is already underway. Patients need to feel free to get help without the fear of being labeled or treated unfairly. Families need accurate information and resources to find quality providers. And policymakers need to set policies help the extensive treatments and services often required to address these disorders affordable.
Encore team members participate in working groups that focus these issues. Whether advocating for better mental healthcare intervention in emergency rooms, or working to make more recovery housing available, Encore Outpatient hopes to contribute its experience and expertise to inform positive change around mental health advocacy.