People in the East respond to Biden’s push for mental health insurance coverage

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – As people gathered to discuss mental health, one thing is clear, available treatment is not keeping up with demand.

“I think it’s very important for us to focus on mental health because there’s such a need out there, and unfortunately people are not getting the help they need,” says Greenville resident, Deborah Hunter.

The World Health Organization says it takes up to ten years to get the mental health care help many people need.

Now President Biden is proposing a new rule that would require insurance providers to update health plans to make sure all people have access to mental health care coverage.

Hunter says, “Put the focus on the need for the mental health and if we see it coming down from the national arena down to the local, then I think people will be more apt to reach out and say okay, there’s some help out there, let me go see what I can get.”

For Greenville Aquatics and Fitness Center, holding monthly health learning classes and shedding light on mental health is key as they are even seeing a need for mental health treatment in the East.

Mallory Paul, Greenville Parks and Recreation Supervisor/Fitness and Wellness Education says, “Mental health is important for everyone. I have family members and friends that have anxiety, panic attacks, and other mental health issues so it’s definitely real and people need to pay attention to it.”

This is why they believe making sure all people have access to mental health care is vital.

“A lot of people don’t have people they can talk to and then by having more resources, people can reach out,” Paul says.

The new proposed regulations still need to go through a public comment period. Once the rule is published in the federal register, that public comment period will last 60 days before it can take effect.

In 2008 congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

The proposed rule would reinforce that law and allow more Americans to get the mental health care they need.