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The Problem:

Research in the past fifty years has repeatedly taught us one thing – mental health recovery is possible. We used to treat mental illness as a lifelong disability. People were told they couldn’t go to work, school, or participate in the community. However, we know now that with the right support, people can recover. When our health care system fosters recovery, every individual will be engaged and our communities will be strong.  

Mental Health America's Recommendations:

  • Real Value in Value-Based Payment.  Adopt value-based payment models based on recovery, facilitated by measurement-based care. Increasingly, we are moving toward a system that rewards value. We should measure “value” in health care based on what individuals finds valuable – are they getting better? If not, what can we do differently to help them get better? These two questions should guide value-based payment and measurement-based care.
  • Modernize the Workforce.  Support national peer credentialing for peers who work in clinical settings as part of clinical care teams so that services by peer specialists can be reimbursed in every state. Peer specialists are the future of mental health care – they enable integrated care teams to work more efficiently and provide ongoing support to an individual in the community. National peer certification is essential to ensuring that peer services offered in clinical settings are standardized and reimbursable across states.
  • Prioritize Services, Not Prisons.  Use funding from jails and prisons to pay for mental health programs, not other health spending. Agencies should coordinate to create a ten year plan to end the incarceration of individuals with mental health needs for non-violent offenses. Future corrections spending should be estimated, so that savings from this plan and from effective mental health treatment and prevention can be tracked and reinvested in mental health programs.

Contact MHA’s Executive Vice President of Policy, Mary Giliberti, for questions, collaboration on mental health legislation, or other MHA recommended policies and bill language, at (703) 797-2583 or