How do we preserve Mental Health Care as an Essential Benefit?


This article has been re-shared from it’s original source,


What can we agree on?

That’s a question worth asking, as a new herd of lawmakers gathers in Denver and Washington.  Last year’s elections probably convinced many Americans that the answer is “almost nothing at all.”

Not so fast.

While the presidential race proved to be one of the most divisive in recent memory, a few signs of consensus emerged in Colorado. The subject: mental health.

In August, our nonpartisan organization asked every candidate for the Colorado General Assembly where they stood on the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders. Nearly 50 percent of the candidates — a mix of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and independents — responded.

View the full list of questions and answers, along with the names of candidates who declined to participate, at

Here’s what the candidates said:

  • 91 percent support a requirement in current law that makes mental health care an essential benefit;
  • 94 percent support mental health parity — requiring insurers companies to provide coverage for the treatment of mental health and substance use disorders that is “no less extensive” than coverage for physical illnesses.
  • 92 percent support a requirement that insurers maintain an adequate network of mental health providers.




Help Us Create a National Mental Health Professional’s Day!