A mental health policy is a particular legal statement of the government or Health ministry that contains the program to enhance the nation’s mental health status, the priorities among those objectives, and the primary directions for achieving them. It could contain the following items; recommending mental health goals, encouraging mental well-being, averting mental disorders, curing mental health, and rehabilitating mentally ill individuals to aid them in achieving adequate psychological and social functioning. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) provided equal treatment to people with mental illnesses (Bickman, 2021). It is an amendment to the employer in section 1304 (b) of the economical act and segment 2791 (e) of the public health account.
A final synchronization implementation was divulged in the consolidated register on November 13, 2013 and practical on January 13, 2014 (Bickman, 2021). The need to overhaul the state’s mental health organization influenced the mental health policy formulation. The following issues were addressed by this policy alignment of mental health care with the national health plan and constitution. Moreover, it focused on integrating mental health amenities and upholding the rights of individuals with mental illness in compliance with international and national legislation. It also dwelt in the provision of equal treatment, disregarding the condition.
Because excellent health is an indicator of good well-being, good health brings purpose to life. Despite the various descriptions of mental health, the entire story revolves around establishing a decent level of wellness in all areas of relations, including psychological, bodily, and social relations. Individuals believe that having excellent mental health is as simple as waking up and going about their daily routines, but this is not true for everyone. The passing of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPA) by Congress in 1996 provided clarity to the public on mental health issues. Having mental health concerns is a general topic for many people in the United States, and it has become a public issue.
According to research, the number of people suffering from depression is rising, indicating that the world’s population faces issues. Finding a solution to this problem is a worldwide issue that the government must address. There are various viable answers to the mental health problem in many modern countries. Civil society organizations can address the worldwide difficulties of mental health by putting forward efforts to obtain adequate remedies to this public health issue (Murphy, 2017). Despite the passage of the MHPA policy in 1996, there is insufficient retrieve to well-being or psychological health services for individuals.
The program’s goal was to encourage insurers to provide resources and equal benefits for mental and social difficulties as they did for physical health. Surprisingly, there are still cases of people suffering from mental health and addiction concerns who receive no apparent help. It’s especially wild among non-white people because psychological illnesses and addiction cases are more widespread among black people in the United States. The directive barred large broad firms with more than fifty employees from eminent more notable annual limits on mental health welfare than physical health satisfaction.
The Policy transpired with cost deviation that allowed group health plans to obtain an abjuration, preventing them from some of its interpretative anticipations if the projects designated that cost increased faster than conformity. The MHPA, on the other hand, did not cover psychological care, but it was valuable to group health plans that provided mental health payments (Krell, 2018). Treatment constraints, facility acquired limits, cost structure sharing dissimilarities, and managed care perspective were all disregarded by the 1996 law, evolving in mental health warfare being guaranteed at a lower amount than other medical benefits.
The Issue That Led to the Development of Policy
There was no historical equilibrium in physical healthcare jurisdiction relative to mental health as employers and insurers had a distinct cost allocation structure. The mental health parity act (MHPA) was enacted into law to address the challenges that individuals with mental health problems face; the strategy was designed to designate the problem and restore equilibrium in the health care structure by removing barriers to therapy for individuals with mental illnesses (Canady, 2020). The Policy contributed to a significant shift in health care balance. Although there was a congress endorsement of the MHPA and its replacement, the 2008 MHPAEA (Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act) envisions widening the Policy’s scope; there are still Americans suffering from psychological distress. The establishment of the MHPAEA is restricted according to the anticipated topic, with many countries having unique plans regulating their psychological well-being strategies. Many people have benefited from the Policy’s passage, but others remain unprotected; the question now is how to handle the origin and problem.
The Policy’s Relevance
The MPHA sets guidelines to guarantee a considerable reduction in general poor services offered to individuals with mental issues. It is a section of devotion under government stewardship to guarantee that a nation is in the most significant desirable health standard in a form that is amenable to the requirements of individuals. The delivery of healthcare services provides equity, participative approaches, efficiency, social accountability, and a multispectral approach. It founds a framework for initiatives aimed at ensuring mental health system changes. According to the Texas Constitution Article 5(1b), every individual has the right to the best attainable state of health, including healthcare services, which also applies to mental health (Hussain et al., 2022). This measure aims to content systematic problems, reduce the burden of mental health illness and issues and develop trends.
The strategy emphasizes understanding mental health as it is a significant predictor of overall social development and health. It influences the individual and community impact, including enhanced physical health and healthier behaviors. Moreover, it affects limited limitations in daily living, higher education achievements, expanded productivity, increased social engagement and unity, better relationships, and advanced quality of life. The Policy also focuses on the instigators of mental health disorders and mental health, worldwide and local burdens, and problems encountered in mental service conveyance and health care. Furthermore, it includes strategic recommendations for mental disorder prevention control and management.
The Realism of The Policy
The goals of the Policy are realistic in the measure that it is committed to pursuing policy initiatives and measures to achieve each individual’s optimal health capacity and status. The Policy’s purpose is to attain the maximum level of mental wellness possible. Moreover, it reduces the exclusion of morbidity, misery, and early demises correlated with mental health issues over a person’s life cycle. The Policy aims to intensify access to comprehensive mental health amenities for individuals with emotional disorders and establish universal health care access. The approach recognizes that attaining the goal is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the private and public sectors.
How the Policy was Developed
The Policy is democratic as certain objectives are followed to evolve. First, integrate that goal that every individual can comprehend and describe the broad context of policymaking. Secondly, the person should comprehend the general situation regarding mental health services. Thirdly the individual should analyze and describe critical factors to the innovation of mental health policy (Krell, 2018). Objective 2 looks at the components required for efficient mental health policy implementation at three levels of social organization: meso that deals with provinces or regional, macro interrelates to national, and micro correlates to the district.
Policy Contribution to Social Equality
The social Policy typically involves the private and private programs that seek to facilitate the welfare of individuals with mental health issues. The MHPAEA intersects directly with issues of inequality in the services that individuals with mental health problems are offered. It aims to ensure that the individuals are not stigmatized or discriminated against due to their health issues. Moreover, it ensures they can receive treatment access from any organization. However, cultural, economic, institutional, and historical factors innovate marginalized groups even in democratic communities.
Consistency of the Policy
Congress approved some policies to find a workable solution to the mental health issue. MHPA strategy was enacted to make it easier for persons who had been diagnosed with mental health issues or addiction to adapt and recover. Individuals with a mental illness that is not usually recognized in the public eye are sometimes treated as untouchables, perpetuating the stigma associated with mental health and psychological health care. As a result, many people with mental illnesses are denied the medical attention they rightfully need and require. It is possible to argue that the little interaction with these groups of people is primarily to blame for the lack of attention paid to their healthcare rights.
The first group of stakeholders highlighted is health insurance companies, who have never given much attention to employee mental health issues. For many reasons, health insurance companies were hesitant to cover the health of persons with mental health issues. For a long time, medical insurance companies have avoided including mental health as part of the health disorders that they cover. The subject has created the notion that mental illnesses are incurable. Such mental health and disorder patients have had difficulty coordinating their medical coverage to incorporate their mental health issues. Mental health insurance providers were typically hesitant to take these plans, citing the poor repayment rates.
The insurance companies took advantage of the fact that many Americans were unaware of the Policy and used it to limit the number of mental health visits that could be made in a year. Such yearly limits have been eliminated as a result of the Policy. Many healthcare plans require consumers to satisfy separate, and sometimes higher, deductibles for mental health care than physical health care (Hussain et al., 2022). As a result of the Policy, a single deductible now applies to psychological and medical treatment. Employers are the second group of stakeholders that have stalled the implementation of the 1996 policy by refusing to provide mental health coverage to their employees.
Mental health is just as primary as physical health regarding productivity. According to research, grown-up African Americans are 20% more likely to experience severe mental distress than their white counterparts (Murphy, 2017). The disgrace associated with generalizations varies from person to person among non-white populations. Every group has a history of defamation and persecution, making it challenging to be aware of policies and regulations like the MHPAEA, which were intended for everyone. The people’s records reveal that, while the procedure may be available, there are still numerous variables that obstruct the circulation of medical assistance to the American people, with no services provided to those in greater need.
Strength and Weakness of the Policy
The Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) addresses mental illness and addiction as they can lead to maladaptive behavior. In any event, some generalizations can be made about both. A few, if not all, of the inferences denote the restraint of governmental objectives to ensure the well-being and security of those who are mentally ill or addicted. Furthermore, the stereotype about addiction is that people with drug addictions are insecure, making them unreasonable and dangerous. Such broad generalizations help structure the cause for the Policy’s inadvertently perpetuated shame. These people contribute to their mental illness; they are considered dangerous and unreliable for any daily activity that requires their assistance (Pine, 2020). When compared to fit people physically, the mentally ill are dishonored and humiliated. Following the Policy, a few improvements were made to help expand the scope of the desired outcome, allowing more people to be contacted in various situations.
Exposure to the reasons and effects of standards of care or benefit refusal was one of the progressions. Because group health plan insurance includes physical and mental health benefits, and the Policy compensates for out-of-network physical health benefits, it is committed to providing psychological well-being benefits. It further stated that psychological wellness benefits should not be subjected to cost-sharing requirements or treatment limitations imposed on some help (Murphy, 2017). It also addressed that insurance coverage, including physical and mental health benefits, should not be prohibitively expensive. The physical health benefits should not outweigh psychological well-being and vice versa.
Some of the Policy’s weaknesses are that there was still low-quality delivery of services to the mentally ill individuals as much as it was endorsed. Other factors that hindered the Policy from thriving were unfavorable environmental and social influences and the pessimistic consequences on the economy. Particularly on the issue of economics, it was adverse as there were constraints in costs to ensure that the regulation was effective.
Comparative and International Analysis
Mental health distinctions and generalizations vary widely, and some people have it easier than others. The outcome would be exceptional if the roles were reversed and white people were swapped with a minority. When they are discovered to have dysfunctional behavior or even issues identifying with addiction, they lose motivation as individuals. Surprisingly, research shows that even with these better extensions, some persons still may not receive the psychological and behavioral support they require. Other social entities and powers have provided little support for the program, and it’s no wonder that political parties and individuals have been rather obtuse and uneducated about the predicament of the psychologically ill and addicted.
Social Thought and Ideology
The greater fear is that once they reveal their problems or illnesses, society would regard them differently, as if they appeared out of nowhere. It’s difficult to adjust to life when subjected to such brutality. Few people are aware of the MHPAEA and what it entails. When people are provided with exact or accommodating facts, they may not be able to believe them—the few who are aware either fail to communicate the information or require legal measures to do so. As a result, the Policy is left to the few aware of its reality and their families, with the vast majority fighting due to unplanned obliviousness based on assumptions made by the broader public.
Health is important for more than just bodily well-being and social standing; it also has a psychological component that many people seem to overlook. As a result, the government and other health organizations must remain steadfast in recognizing the importance of psychological health and seek to improve the MHPAEA. The MHPAEA policy necessitates the expansion of MHPA plans, implying more coverage for mental wellness services for employed persons in the United States (Canady, 2020). However, suppose the United States remains a state with policies on psychological wellness. In that case, it is critical to work through the challenges that arise in obtaining mental health services for all people. If the United States remains a state with policies on psychological wellness, only a tiny percentage of Americans will benefit from the service.
Mental illnesses place a high financial cost on the individuals who suffer from them and their families, societies, companies, medical systems, and government finances. Although there is a lot of study on the economic burden of mental diseases in high-income states, there is not much on the economic influence of poor psychological health in middle-income and low-income countries (Sharpless, 2022). People use the limited research that is accessible to analyze the direct economic implications of mental diseases in low- and middle-income nations. Assessments of these financial losses are likely to be cautious; few consider how families mobilize and divert resources that harm them, deepening and sustaining socioeconomic inequities.
These household expenditures significantly impact labor force size, productivity, and national revenue when accumulated across an economy. As a result, it is critical to implement a policy that assures individuals with mental health concerns receive equal treatment. If their family members are experiencing financial difficulties, they may lack the resources to get them treated. As a result, similar treatment for other individuals is a possible option for improving treatment. Furthermore, they endure stigma and discrimination; therefore, they will be provided with treatment therapies if they are subjected to an equal treatment policy.
Dynamics and Patterns in the Policy
The Policy is executed through a cross-sectoral perspective and integrated as mental health policy arbitration is extensive and crosses numerous categories. Under the management of the health ministry, the Policy is produced through a collaborative process that comprises private, public, and non-state players. The national mental health policy vision is to advance mental health, avert mental illness, intensify healing from mental illness, and promote desegregation and destigmatization (Dopp & Lantz, 2019). Moreover, the provision warrants socioeconomic inclusion of individuals with mental health issues by providing affordable, accessible, and high-quality social and health care to all individuals throughout their lives within the right-based framework.
Through the Policy, a wide range of stakeholders will be able to assess and create mental health interventions. More, through it, individuals with mental illness will receive equal treatments, facilitating them to get well. It will also help reduce discrimination and stigma associated with individuals with mental illness. The Policy, vision, goals, and aim will significantly impact individuals with mental health issues. The cycle of mental health and poverty will also be reduced by administering a mental health strategy that is informed, contextually appropriate prototypes. Creating multisectoral mental health strategies and administering policies that address the economic, social, psychological, residential, and health necessities of persons with and exposed to evolving mental health issues will be critical to the program’s success.
Bickman, L. (2021). Reform 2.0: Augmenting innovative mental health interventions. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 48(2), 181-184.
Canady, V. (2020). JED evaluation finds colleges improving policies, programs. Mental Health Weekly, 30(29), 5-6.
Dopp, A., & Lantz, P. (2019). Moving upstream to improve children’s mental health through community and policy change. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 47(5), 779-787. Web.
Hussain, B., Hui, A., Timmons, S., & Nkhoma, K. (2022). Ethnic mental health inequalities and mental health policies in England 1999-2020. Journal of Public Mental Health, 89-432. Web.
Krell, K. (2018). Discourse and politics in Alberta’s health system: An analysis of mobile technology policy. Health Policy and Technology, 7(1), 7-14.
Murphy, M. (2017). Will Trump’s cabinet appointments dismantle MH policies? Mental Health Weekly, 27(14), 1-5. Web.
Pine, R. (2020). Teachers’ and health professionals’ attitudes towards adolescent mental health and digital mental health interventions. Advances in Mental Health, 19(3), 295-305. Web.
Sharpless, L., Kershaw, T., & Willie, T. (2022). Associations between state-level restorative justice policies and mental health among women survivors of intimate partner violence. SSM – Mental Health, 2, 1-8.