We are building a big tent vision that will address mental health for all people and populations in America. Together we'll beat the crisis and create a world that makes us happy, not sick.
Due to the discrimination against our cause, our nation has neglected essential investment into crisis services. To put out the fires, we must act immediately to build a crisis system and a real care system that people can access affordably.
We have a mental health crisis because we have created a society that fundamentally makes people sick. Fixing the care system and improving treatment is the essential first step, but we must begin to look at the world outside of health care.
We are sick because people are increasingly separated from the human essentials such as family, community, meaning, spirituality/faith, and nature.
Our world is increasingly not serving us due to a three tiered problem: The root cause, the symptoms, and a misplaced response to the crisis.
1) The Root Cause
Our fundamental problem is that we over-rely on GDP and economic measures to evaluate the well-being and direction of our society. We say a growing economy will lead to a world that makes us happy, yet happiness has flatlined for 50 years.
Happiness is woven into the Declaration of Independence, however as a nation we have no formal measure of happiness and life satisfaction. As a result, no one in any office is making sure the world we create is one we'll be happy in.
2) Symptoms of a Misaligned World
Given the GDP assumption, all throughout society people are squeezed in the name of economic growth. We are increasingly used like inputs to serve the machine, rather than the machine serving us.
You can see this playing out in society. Social media tears us apart for profits with little recognition of how we are doing. There has been a radical loss of meaning in the workplace as millions hyper-specialize in isolating careers. Last, advances in technology are zeroing millions of people out of the economy while the financial gains consolidate at the top. This list could go on.
3) Over-Individualizing a Societal Problem
We are being told to use meditation apps and self-help books to deal with the forces of economic injustice. It's like a garden hose against a forest fire.
Individual responsibility is 100% an essential piece to ending this crisis, but so many people don't have a fighting chance. Tackling trauma and depression is some of the hardest work a person can do but we only make it harder. We must create the conditions that give people a fair shot at the pursuit of happiness.
The mental health care system has been neglected for far too long. It is time we invest into a crisis system, a real care system, and the insurance reform to give people affordable access to the treatments that work.
GLM is a strong advocate of a community-based care system led by peers and people with lived experience. People heal in community and we must invest in the social determinants of our health. Good care is trauma-informed, culturally sensitive, and person-centered.
Our lack of investment into a behavioral health urgent care system has created an unjust pipeline of Americans into jails and homelessness. It's costing us billions — and thousands of lives.
1. Fully fund and implement the 988 Crisis Hotline
2. Integrate crisis response into 911
3. Fund CIT and MHFA police training
4. Mobile crisis teams
5. Person-centered stabilization and hospitalization
6. Housing first as a solution to homelessness
7. Require local justice MH/SUD diversion plans
8. Incentivize hospital Zero-Suicide models
We must expand our vision of what qualifies as treatment in mental health. Evidence continues to show that we heal in community. Psychosocial interventions such as vocational placement, supportive housing, routine, peers, and cultural awareness are fundamental aspects of treatment.
We must build a system that meets people where they are. Let's orient the system around people's lives rather than having people oriented around the system.
Five-stages of care.
1. Low-intensity support begins in community by lay people
2. Care is coordinated by a peer-led community workforce
3. Specialized services available via outpatient and day programs
4. Hospitalization is available in familiar community settings
5. Clubhouses, rehabilitation, and housing supports are covered
This system should:
1. Integrate into PCP and the physical health system
2. Lead with collaborative care
3. Offer wraparound services and coordinated specialty care
4. Culturally aware, person-centered, and trauma-informed
5. Supported by peers who are viewed as intrinsically valuable
Insurance companies do not treat mental health equally. They drive up costs and create disparities of access with our most vulnerable communities. This is illegal and we must hold insurers accountable.
1. Equal reimbursement for collaborative care and telehealth
2. Require coverage for digital therapeutics, rehabilitation programs, and peer support.
3. Require GASC medical determinations
4. Ending fail-first treatment protocols
5. Remove limitations on MATs
6. Eliminate restrictions on SUD care
7. Require private health plans to cover FDA-approved medication
8. Eliminate Medicaid exclusion of people in jails/prisons
9. Amend ERISA via DOL to impose fines on group plans
10. Federal funding for random audits and review of complaints
11. Health plans must report denial rates, and reimbursements
12. Require insurers to cover the full range of intermediate mental health and addiction services, including residential care, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization service
GLM's vision is to support people's mental health before it becomes a crisis, and people it enters the care system. To do this, we must take a population health approach that is highly targeted into the upstream interventions that are cost-effective and pay dividends.
Our three prevention policies are common sense and widely supported across the full political spectrum. Let's rebuild our communities and put people first.
GDW is a way to measure how we're doing as people. Happiness is woven into the Declaration of Independence, yet we have no formal national measure of our happiness and life satisfaction.
GDW comes from the 60-year old field of Happiness Economics. It is an utilized around the world in countries like the UK, Finland, Iceland, and more. GDW can help us change the incentives to more intentionally channel the forces of the economic machine to serve our well-being.
1. Adopted in UK under Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron.
2. GDW is measured annually, quarterly, and weekly.
3. Provides UK government real-time data on efficacy of policies.
4. The entire UK program costs est. $10 million a year.
5. Survey methods are valid, reliable, and consistent across cultures.
6. Measures our well-being three ways: (1) Positive/negative emotions (2) Satisfaction with our lives (3) Meaning in our life.
7. Provides a single measure to evaluate the decisions No more guessing. This is effective governance and people first economy.
Our children are suffering and we can help them. Our schools need more mental health professionals, mental health first-aid training, and life skills like decision-making, self-management and relationship skills.
1. Bullying / suicide prevention programs
2. MHFA Training: teachers and students
3. MH Professionals: psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors
4. Life Skills: Decision-making, relationship skills, self-management
5. Mental health excused absences
Social media apps are unregulated casinos feeding us directly into the economic machine. We must follow the policy model of casinos by creating financial accountability for the harms produced by the apps. This money will fund social programs that heal communities.
A 1% VAT on the biggest social media and tech companies. This will raise over $10 billion annually to fund our whole vision.
Other policies we support:
1. Better ID verification
2. Kid friendly default settings
3. Responsibility for platforms to take down bot networks