Policy Advocacy Brief
Issue Statement/Executive Summary
Minnesota has been an innovator in developing and expanding mental health services across the state. Although promising policies have been established, mental health treatment disparities continue to hinder functioning for individuals living with mental illness. Availability and accessibility are identified barriers to accessing services in rural areas. With a successful repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), what would seem a right of equality, access to mental health care, could turn from limited access, to none. Thereby invoking true possibilities of increase in mental illness, decline in whole health, lack of health care reimbursements, and essentially, even death for rural Americans. The United States had only just begun to build bridges to access to rural mental health care. Without the ACA, the already dwindling opportunities to access rural mental health care may be erased altogether. In 2016 Governor Dayton convened a Task Force on Mental Health to improve Minnesota’s mental health system. The nine recommendations can serve as a roadmap for improving the mental health system in rural Minnesota.
Bank, S. M., Paulson, R. M., Schafter, S. N., Schuelke, A. M. (2017). Ensuring access to mental health care: A rural perspective. MSW Program Policy Briefs, Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/msw-student-policy-advocacy-briefs/7