On January 24, 2013, NIAC member Michael Hogan, PhD testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which convened to assess the state of America’s mental health system. In his testimony, Dr. Hogan reminded the Committee that previous evidence supports the inclusion of mental health care in health care. He alluded to a recent study outlined in Richard Frank and Sherry Glied’s Better But Not Well: Mental Health Policy in the United States since 1950 that suggests that improved well-being for people with mental illness is not due to improvements in mental health care but rather, due to increased access to mainstream services like health care. Additionally, the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act (MHPAEA) calls for including mental illness care in health care and furthermore, indicates that a separate and unequal mental health system is not a solution. Finally, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes mental health changes within it changes to health care. Dr. Hogan then described that integrating basic mental health care into primary care is therefore the first major challenge for the next decade. However, it will call for major structural changes and utmost attention from the Committee and federal agencies.
Read a transcript of Dr. Hogan’s testimony: http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Hogan.pdf
Also watch the full committee hearing: http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=b2048a10-5056-a032-529c-340d7ae5f237