Dr. Ashwin Vasan, President and CEO of Fountain House, on Trump Administration Executive Order for Behavioral Health: We need stimulus support to address COVID’s long-term risks to mental health
Our recovery efforts are futile if the administration fails to address the long-term realities of these parallel pandemics.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 — In response to the newly signed Executive Order from the Trump administration addressing mental and behavioral health needs, Ashwin Vasan, MD, PhD and President and CEO of Fountain House, issued the following statement:
“Recognition that the COVID pandemic, which has already taken 210,000 lives in the US, is also driving a secondary mental health pandemic is necessary, but more must be done. The Executive Order's support of telehealth and establishing a task force are only a start. Rather than stall critical stimulus funding, we must also adequately resource prevention strategies, such as eviction moratoriums and extended unemployment insurance, to address the basic threats to human security exacerbated by the pandemic. As recent research shows, these are worsening mental health and will lead to long-term economic and social strain on people and on our society.
The American people are counting on leaders to step up and meet the urgency of this moment. That means acknowledging the severity of COVID, the need to socially distance, and the effectiveness of masks. By listening to health experts, following science, and expanding, not restricting, access to affordable healthcare, we can ensure that the growing number of those who need mental health support due to the compounding stress of the COVID pandemic, school closures, and job loss, can receive it.”