Missouri’s junior senator says mental health should be treated like all other health.
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) briefed community leaders and medical professionals this week at the Community Health Center of Central Missouri, located in Jefferson City.
“The National Institute of Health says one in four adult Americans has a diagnosable and almost always treatable behavioral health issue,” Blunt says.
Blunt also says one in nine American adults has a behavioral health issue that impacts how they live.
He says many Americans who have mental health challenges don’t seek help.
“Of that one in nine people who their mental health challenge impacts how they live everyday, I think the estimate is at least a third of them have never gone anywhere to get help,” says Blunt.
Blunt and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) sponsored the bipartisan Excellence in Mental Health Act, which was signed by President Barack Obama (D) in 2014.
Blunt says Missouri is one of eight states participating in an “Excellence in Mental Health Act” pilot program, adding that Missouri is leading the nation in expanding access to mental and behavioral treatment.
He says “it doesn’t cost anything to do the right thing,” saying that treating mental health like all other health will either break even or make money.
“Because every other health problem that big community has of people who have a mental health problem is so much more easily dealt with if people are feeling better about themselves, eating better, sleeping better, seeing their doctor,” Blunt says.
The Community Health Center of Central Missouri is a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
CEO Jeff Davis tells reporters they work to provide health care for the underserved, and try to “surround” their patients with as many resources as they can.
The Community Health Center of Central Missouri website notes that about 20 percent of adults in mid-Missouri report struggling with an emotional or psychological issue during the past year.
Senator Roy Blunt briefed Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth and the entire Capitol Press Corps on October 11, 2017 in Jefferson City. Click here to listen to the full media briefing: