WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) a $2 trillion stimulus aid package to provide fiscal relief for Americans and businesses in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill, which passed the Senate Wednesday, includes many provisions supported by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) that will enable health care professionals and communities to better respond to the pandemic, including some that will bolster mental health care.
“You can’t have a healthy economy without healthy people—and that includes mental health,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “This stimulus bill will strengthen our ability to help the millions of Americans with existing mental illnesses or substance use disorders, and more with emerging mental health issues as the pandemic unfolds. This is a promising development in the nation’s efforts to fight the impact of COVID-19.”
Among the provisions of the bill that APA supports are:
The bill will also increase the national stockpile of personal protective equipment for front-line medical responders facing the COVID crisis.
“As we respond to one of the largest public health threats facing our country in decades, funding for behavioral health initiatives and expanding telemedicine are critical,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “We strongly believe that the federal and state governments will need to continue to support physicians, who will be working long hours and in many cases risking their own health, as we continue to address this pandemic.”
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.