Why Do We Need a National Strategy for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders?
people have died from overdoses in the U.S. in 2021.
of high school students have seriously considered suicide in the U.S. in 2021.
The Alignment for Progress Areas of Focus
Based on a robust data collection effort, including consultations with partners, surveys, and reviews of existing policy recommendations from stakeholders across the MH/SUD space, The Kennedy Forum (TKF) grouped recommendations into high-level categories.
Extend Medicaid coverage to 12 months postpartum
Congress should require states to extend Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum.
Fund the community schoolyards project
Congress should establish federal funding for the Community Schoolyards project through the National Park Service’s (NPS) Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) to renovate asphalt schoolyards into schoolyard parks by providing grants to school districts, city parks, and water departments to fund renovations with oversight from federal agencies.
Make mobile crisis services mandatory under Medicaid
Congress should make mobile crisis services mandatory under Medicaid. At a minimum, these services should be made a permanent state option available to states eligible for enhanced federal Medicaid match funding.
Apply the federal Parity Law to all health coverage
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) should apply to all health coverage in the United States. Existing major gaps in MHPAEA’s protections include Medicare Fee-for-Service, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid Fee-for-Service, TRICARE, and the Indian Health Service (IHS). Additionally, the federal government should strengthen MHPAEA’s existing protections by finalizing its proposed rule released in July 2023.
Improve Medicare coverage of peer support specialists
Congress should improve Medicare coverage of peer support specialists by allowing them to bill in a variety of settings where they are most often employed.