President Trump’s Executive Order on Mental Health During the Pandemic

On Monday, the White House issued President Trump’s Executive Order on Saving Lives Through Increased Support For Mental- and Behavioral-Health Needs, which orders the creation of a Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group, the submission of a plan by the working group for addressing mental health impacts of COVID-19, and calls for agencies to maximize support, including safe in-person services, for Americans in need of behavioral health treatment.

Other changes and support called for in the order include:

  • Providing crisis-intervention services to treat those in immediate life-threatening situations; and
  • Increasing the availability of and access to quality continuing care following initial crisis resolution to improve behavioral-health outcomes;
  • Permit and encourage safe in-person mentorship programs; support-group participation; and attendance at communal facilities, including schools, civic centers, and houses of worship;
  • Increase the availability of telehealth and online mental-health and substance-use tools and services; and
  • Marshal public and private resources to address deteriorating mental health, such as factors that contribute to prolonged unemployment and social isolation.

Click here to read the full Executive Order.

Click here to read HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s statement on President Trump’s Executive Order.