U.S. Senate COVID Relief Package Provides No Funding for Mental Health
Americans are experiencing the worst behavioral health crisis in our lifetimes. Some forecasts have demonstrated a staggering 8,000 additional suicides over and above what would have been expected if COVID-19 had never come into our lives. Further, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, in the time between August 19-October 24, 2020, 32.9% of adults over 18 had symptoms of depressive or anxiety disorder, compared to 11% from January to June 2019.
In spite of statistics like these, in the most recent COVID-19 Package, the U.S. Senate has allocated no funding to support access to quality care for mental health conditions and only a small amount for the opioid crisis. It’s important you let your Senators know that people living with these conditions need urgent and immediate support during this crisis.
Your Voice Can Make a Difference
Please join with DBSA asking Congress to fund access to mental health care providers during this national crisis by acting today. Our collective efforts can make a difference!
It is important that they hear from you. Please take a few minutes to send your legislators an email using the standard letter found at this link. A space has been left for you to insert your own personal story to them as to why adequate funding for mental health and substance use disorders is more important than ever. Once completed, hit Send Email. It’s that simple.
It is a stronger call to action for the work of all our advocates. We look forward to partnering with you to answer that call.
Now is the time to act! Click here to send a letter.
Share Your Opinion on How Clinical Trials Should Measure Effectiveness
DBSA has been on a journey to transform the definition of wellness for people living with mood disorders as it relates to the delivery of mental health care for several years. A key priority of this initiative is the development of a new set of treatment outcomes to be used in medical product clinical trials to measure the effectiveness of new therapeutic interventions.
To support this effort, over the last four years DBSA has:
- Developed and distributed the Supporting Wellness survey: a peer designed survey asking peers to identify their preferred treatment outcomes.
- Hosted an externally led patient-focused drug development meeting as part of an FDA initiative to hear directly from patients around the unmet needs and gaps in current medical product interventions.
- Executed peer focus groups building on learnings from the survey and the PFDD meeting to improve upon the diversity shortcomings of the first two programs and provide further context.
- Convened two patient engagement and stakeholder workshops bringing together peers, family members, clinicians, researchers, FDA and medical product development staff to provide direction and guidance. The output of the last workshop was a consensus on four concepts of interest for treatment outcomes:
- Improved physical energy
- Activities of daily living
- Time spent in positive vs negative space
- Maintaining /increasing relationships as desired
This year DBSA conducted a review of published scientific literature to identify existing tools and scales that matched the concepts of interest. What we found in the initial review was more than 15 criteria to describe more than 100 measures of wellness.
In order to advance our work, DBSA needs input from you, the peer, to help us narrow down this work to a manageable list. You can assist us and fellow peers by taking this simple survey that asks you to prioritize treatment outcomes at this link.
We’ll keep you updated on the survey results in a future Making Mental Health Matter issue. This will be particularly interesting as we are also asking clinicians, researchers, and medical product developers to take the survey as well. It is our hope that the combined input of stakeholders who make decisions about how therapeutic interventions are developed, and those who benefit from them, will result in better treatment outcomes.