Earlier this week, Centerstone representatives from Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois descended upon Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., as part of the National Council for Behavioral Health’s annual Hill Day. The tenor of this year’s event focused both on the progress our industry has made over the past few decades as well as a strong acknowledgement that stigma and barriers to treatment, particularly for those with behavioral health concerns, still persist.
So, when Centerstone leaders joined almost 1,000 other advocates in D.C. this week, we were there because we still have much work to do to ensure that mental illness and addiction are treated the same as other chronic diseases. We were there because we need to ensure that the opiate epidemic receives comparable attention and resources as other public health emergencies. And we were there because we are part of an underfunded industry that still wrapped in a veil of stigma — and it is time to change that.
The good news is that more and more lawmakers — regardless of party line — are starting to take note. There is growing awareness and support for behavioral health.
However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that American’s have access to a health care system that treats individuals and families struggling with addiction and/or severe mental illness with the same resources, access and public acceptance as families seeking to address other chronic illnesses.
Join us in reaching out to elected official to educate them on the importance of access to quality behavioral health services. Learn more here.