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What is Your Local Government’s Role in Mental Health?

psychologist working in her office on her laptop with a mental health patient

It comes to no surprise that local governments play a heavy role in our community’s access to health services. Decisions that they make today have a lasting impact on our family, friends, neighbors, and the rest of our community. Mental health is a growing concern in today’s society, and much like other areas of healthcare, relies on the support of our government. 

Agenda Discovery allows its users to stay on top of legislation that impedes their business’s success. Healthcare is a tremendous concern for everyone, and as employers, can take a heavy toll on your workforce. Read our article below to learn what your local government’s role is on mental health services and how our legislative tracking software can help.

Local Government Can Increase Community Connectivity Through Public Transit

Some communities that promote mental health put great emphasis on social interaction through active transportation options, like walking, biking, and public transit. Active transportation networks allow us to conduct day-to-day activities without spending our time in a car and allows people from all walks of life to participate in the community. Having a connected community has tremendous effects on our mental health by increasing our trust and social interaction among the area’s members.

Local governments around the country are adopting bike lanes and changing traffic patterns to promote community engagement. Additionally, they’re beautifying areas to attract residents and tourists who seek recreation.  This is just one example of how legislators and city planners are working together to enrich our mental health.

Local Governments Invest in Programs and Services That Promote Mental Health

Our government has the power to invest in programs to support residents in transitioning into key life stages like maternal and child health programs, childcare, and youth and family-based services. Additionally, local governments are able to support community organizations such as charities, community groups, neighborhood houses, sporting clubs, and senior citizen clubs. 

Investing in these areas has tremendous potential in maintaining mentally healthy communities. It’s similar to how we’re building transportation networks, it promotes community connectivity and provides support during critical moments in our lives. 

Medicaid Provides Mental Health Support

According to Pew Trusts, Medicaid was the largest funding source for mental health treatment in 2009 and has since continued its support. However, it’s important to note that a local government’s role in funding mental health services varies across the U.S. While all states receive federal support via Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), each can designate how much they’d like to fund their mental health system. 

For instance, American Addiction Centers broke down the total amount of state mental health agency expenditures in every state. According to their research, the top states funding mental health are California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New Jersey. 

Local Governments Fund Mental Health Awareness Campaigns

In 2016, New York City subway riders were met with a series of banners creatively letting people know depression does not define them. ThriveNYC as it was called, relied entirely on local government funding to bring awareness to the seriousness of mental health. The New York City campaign intended to improve access to mental health by breaking the stigma of seeking mental health treatment. 

Other localities can improve their community’s mental health by launching similar campaigns. Between ThriveNYC and its funding towards health programs, the city was able to provide greater support for those struggling with mental health issues. 

Agenda Discovery Helps You Stay on Top of Local Government Activity

At our core, Agenda Discovery makes local government more transparent. We provide a way for our users to monitor local agendas on specific issues with regulatory and accuracy. With our automated search process, we make it easy for you to stay on top of what matters most. Our software sends relevant alerts straight to your email via customized keyword monitoring. Contact Agenda Discovery today to experience a free demo of our incredible legislative tracker.


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