President Donald Trump has signed an executive order designed to improve behavioral health and prevent suicide in America. It blames COVID-19-related shutdowns for worsening Americans’ mental health.
The executive order, signed Monday, establishes a cabinet-level working group to assess the mental health needs of America’s most vulnerable citizens. That includes elderly adults, minorities, children, veterans and people with disabilities.
The order also calls for providing grant funding to support telehealth, peer-to-peer and in-person therapeutic service delivery, as well as to award contracts and grants to community orgnaizations that provide mental health and suicide prevention support.
The executive order comes in response to rising substance use disorder and mental health condition prevalence amid the pandemic.
In announcing the order, the Trump administration pointed to CDC data showing that nearly 41% of Americans reported at least one adverse mental health condition amid COVID-19 and nearly 11% reported seriously considering suicide.