President, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
On this Thursday, February 26, I’m excited to participate as a panel member in a mental health policy briefing, Fixing America’s Mental Healthcare System, in Washington, DC, hosted by The Hill. At this important event, we’ll discuss how our nation’s broken system impacts those with a mental health condition, their families, workplaces, and broader communities. We’ll also discuss potential solutions to this crisis. I will be sharing my views as both a patient as well as a representative of all of our DBSA members and families.
Learn about the issues
The briefing features the following:
- An Interview with Senator Murphy and Congressman Murphy: Bob Cusack, Editor-in-Chief of The Hill, sits down with Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA-18), to talk about the bills they plan to bring to the floor in this legislative session.
- A Research Presentation on the Impact of Medicaid Formulary Restrictions: Seth Seabury, Ph.D., from the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, provides a research overview of his study “Patient Outcomes and Cost Effects of Medicaid Formulary Restrictions on Antidepressants.” The study found that restricting access to antidepressants can worsen health outcomes for patients with major depressive disorder without necessarily generating significant savings for states’ health budgets.
- A Panel Discussion on Steps We Can Take to Fix the System: I’ll be participating on a panel discussion to discuss the cost of mental health conditions and potential policy solutions, along with
- Azfar Malik, M.D., Chief of Staff & CEO, CenterPointe Hospital (St. Louis, MO);
- Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors; and
- Matt Salo, Executive Director, National Association of Medicaid Directors.
As you know, there is much work to be done at both the national and state level to ensure access to quality mental health care. Educating yourself on the values, opinions, and solutions raised by key policy decision makers provides you with the tools to be an effective advocate.
Next Tuesday, I’ll share my key takeaways from the briefing and offer my thoughts on how we can continue to move from conversation into action as we continue into this new Congress.
- How do you think our society would save money if we were to provide better treatment for people with mental illness?
- What should government do to make sure that people can get mental health treatment and can stay on that treatment long enough to be well?
Allen Doederlein is President of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), the nation’s premier peer-led mental health organization focusing on mood disorders. DBSA reaches 2,000,000 people each year with current, readily understandable information about depression and bipolar disorder and empowering tools focused on an integrated approach to wellness.