KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

White House Conference Spotlights Mental Health Issues

The meeting covered a range of topics -- from the need for more training for mental health providers regarding the mental health parity law to the need for people to be more open about mental illness.

Reuters: Obama Urges Greater Openness In Dealing With Mental Illness
President Barack Obama said on Monday that Americans need to become more open about mental health issues so that people struggling with problems are not ashamed to seek help. More than 60 percent of Americans with mental illness do not receive treatment, many of them because they are embarrassed or afraid of being ostracized, Obama said, speaking at a White House conference on mental health (Rampton, 6/3).

CT Mirror: Provoked By Newtown, Obama Pushes For Mental Health Reforms
Having stumbled on gun control, President Barack Obama on Monday called for a national dialogue on mental illness -- a campaign touched off by last year's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Speaking at the beginning of a day-long White House conference on the issue, Obama said the time has come to bring mental illness "out of the shadows" (Radelat, 6/3).

Medpage Today: Mental Health Grabs Spotlight At White House
More mental health providers need to be trained and details surrounding the mental health parity law need clarification, advocates said Monday at a White House mental health conference. While the Affordable Care Act will provide more mental health coverage to Americans, advocates said there won't be enough providers to treat mental health patients unless greater steps are taken. "Unless we have additional resources, we will not have the kind of access that we're all advocating for here today," Wayne Lindstrom, PhD, president of Mental Health America in Alexandria, Va., said Monday, adding that since the recession public funds to the mental health system have decreased by a total of $4.5 billion (Pittman, 6/3).

Modern Healthcare: Obama Puts Spotlight On Mental Health
In what amounted to an all-day public relations affair on Monday, the Obama administration sought to heighten the national discourse on both the understanding and awareness of mental health in America. Now, mental healthcare professionals are wondering what comes next. President Barack Obama underscored the need for enhanced mental healthcare services when he made it a core element of his gun-reform proposal this year (Zigmond, 6/3).

WBUR: Radio Boston: Children's Mental Health In Mass.: An Examination
On Monday in Washington, President Obama opened the White House Conference on Mental Health, calling for a more open conversation across the nation. Specifically, he mentioned children: Today, less than 40 percent of people with mental illness receive treatment — less than 40 percent. Even though three-quarters of mental illnesses emerge by the end of — by the age of 24, only about half of children with mental health problems receive treatment. … Here in Massachusetts, children’s mental health care was in the news this month when Cambridge Health Alliance announced plans to shrink its acute mental health services for children and teens (6/3).

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