The White House has announced new plans to invest in peer support, in order to help democratize mental healthcare access and bridge chronic care gaps during our national mental health crisis.
As part of its aim to increase America’s mental healthcare workforce, President Biden’s White House will pour resources into training and deploying more peer support specialists across the country. This decision will help more people connect to care that resonates, at a lower cost than other common care modalities.
Data has shown that peer support can help provide accessible and affordable clinical-grade outcomes. Especially when it comes to marginalized populations and groups traditionally alienated from therapy, peer support is a key stopgap mental health measure–and we at Supportiv are so happy to see federal recognition of the role peer support can play in healing our nation.
Other laudable plans from the White House include removing the term “substance abuse” from the names of federal services. This change has been proposed in Biden’s proposed budget for 2023. For instance, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) would have “abuse” removed from its name–perhaps in favor of “substance use.”
Especially for those who have never received clinical mental healthcare before, peer support has a low threshold for use and can help make connections to more specialized resources and care as necessary. And regardless of which type of care someone seeks out, it’s important that providers use de-stigmatizing language. The simple change of replacing “substance abuse” with “substance use” demonstrates the administration’s insight about meeting people where they are.
Overall, these plans will help connect more Americans to care that feels understanding rather than judgmental, flexible rather than rigid, and personally-tailored rather than cut-and-dry.
For more info on how Supportiv’s mission fits into our current national mental health agenda, drop us a line at [email protected].