National Security , Newsline

President Donald Trump Takes Action to Improve Americans’ Mental Health Which has been Harmed by Prolonged Lockdowns

Posted on Monday, October 5, 2020
by Outside Contributor

  • President Trump signed an Executive Order to address the negative impact of prolonged shutdowns on mental and behavioral health and increase suicide prevention efforts.
  • The President is establishing a cabinet-level working group to assess the mental health needs of the most vulnerable, including the elderly, minorities, children, veterans, and people with disabilities.
  • The order also focuses on providing grant funding to support mental health treatment services including telehealth, peer-to-peer, and safe in-person therapeutic services.
    • The Trump Administration is also working to award contracts and grants to community organizations which provide mental health and suicide prevention support.

PROTECTING AMERICANS: The President’s order comes at a time when many Americans are facing increased mental health problems and other challenges stemming from the pandemic.

  • Research shows that Americans’ mental health has suffered during the COVID-19 shutdowns and vulnerable Americans have been disproportionately affected.
  • According to a CDC study, symptoms of anxiety and depression increased significantly since the prolonged stay-at-home orders, with disproportionately worse mental health outcomes among vulnerable groups.
    • 9% of Americans reported at least one adverse mental health condition and 10.7% reported seriously considering suicide.
  • In July, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 53% of American adults reported that their mental health was negatively affected due to worries over COVID-19.
    • One in five of those who sheltered in place reported experiencing a major negative mental health consequence.
  • The overall negative impact of social distancing practices and economic shutdowns on mental wellbeing has led to reports of increased substance use and overdoses, decreased access to addiction treatment services, and increased calls to suicide prevention centers.

PROMOTING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH: President Trump has worked tirelessly to improve Americans’ mental and physical health during his tenure in office.

  • President Trump has fought the opioid crisis in our Nation’s communities, issuing a nationwide call to action and working to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, including making it easier to find treatment services.
  • To protect our Nation’s veterans, President Trump signed an Executive Order, directing the creation of a roadmap to empower veterans and end the national tragedy of suicide.
  • Early in the pandemic, the President participated in a call with mental health and substance use disorder leaders and professionals to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on mental health.
  • The President signed legislation which allocated approximately $425 million in emergency funds to address mental and substance use disorders.
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