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Katiri Zuluaga

Manager, State Initiatives

Presidential Candidates Offer Thoughts on Mental Health in America

August 29, 2019 | Uncategorized | Comments
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Mental Health for US, of which the National Council is a founding coalition member, released survey responses from top presidential candidates on how they would improve mental health and addiction care in America, if elected. Candidates polling at one percent or higher nationally were sent an 11-question survey covering topics including suicide prevention, criminal justice reform, access to care, and addiction. Responses were received from U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.

In total, 13 candidates, including President Trump, were given the survey to complete. Of the six campaigns who responded, themes include increasing access to behavioral health care in rural areas, expanding access to addiction treatment, increasing funding and decriminalizing mental health and addiction treatment. There was significant variation in how candidates approached these issues, specifically criminal justice reform, parity enforcement and increasing access to care.

Each individual candidate’s response is available here:

To hear more from presidential candidates on how they would improve mental health and addiction care, join the National Council and Mental Health for US on September 27th in Des Moines, IA. At the forum, the candidates will have the opportunity to discuss their plans to address these issues and voters will ask their most pressing questions about these topics ahead of the Iowa caucuses. Registration is now open.