WGA urges Senate to increase mental health care access

Ahead of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions’ hearing on mental health and substance use disorders, the Western Governors’ Association shared policy recommendations to address the behavioral health care challenges facing the West, including growing rates of behavioral health conditions and the lack of access to mental health and substance misuse services. The letter of Jan. 31, signed by WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury, encouraged the committee to work with states on broadband deployment that will increase access to telehealth services and implement federal programs to address the shortage of health care workers, among other recommendations outlined in WGA policy resolution, Physical and Behavioral Health Care in Western States.  “This challenge is particularly acute in the West’s underserved and rural areas,” the letter read. “The federal government should work with states to facilitate the deployment of broadband to underserved and rural areas, recognizing that adequate broadband access has a direct correlation to rural populations’ ability to access telehealth and telemedicine.” Read, download the letter

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