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.