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Maintaining one’s mental health has been increasingly more difficult throughout the pandemic. COVID-19 has increased the amount of stress that many people are under on a day-to-day basis. In addition to the fear of getting sick, people have to deal with other effects of the pandemic such as food insecurity, job loss, not being able to go outside as often, and less social interaction. These secondary effects of coronavirus are all collapsing together to cause a mental health crisis.

Source: TODAY/YouTube

Unfortunately, mental healthcare can be expensive and people have struggled to gain access to it for a long time before the pandemic. Even people who have insurance may be unable to get their mental healthcare covered by their insurance provider. Many insurance companies will deny coverage of various mental health services by saying that said services are not “medically necessary.” Oftentimes, it can also be difficult for people to find in-network mental health treatment options. These policies are greedy and have resulted in deaths that could have been prevented. In 2016, for example, a 21-year-old named Max was in a residential treatment center to recover from his heroin addiction. His insurer refused to cover a longer stay so his family had to bring him home and ten weeks later, he died from an overdose. This is not an uncommon occurrence.

Recently, California implemented one of the strongest mental healthcare laws in the entire United States. Under SB 855, the Equal Insurance Coverage for Mental Health law, all health insurance providers in California must cover treatment for every DSM listed mental disorder. They cannot limit treatment to short-term, acute care and if in-network care isn’t available nearby in a timely manner, then the company must also help the patient find and pay for out-of-network treatment. All states need to follow California’s lead to help people get the Support that they need. Sign this petition to tell state lawmakers and governors in the rest of the United States that they must pass and implement laws like SB 855 to ensure that insurance companies can no longer deny life-saving mental healthcare treatment!

To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:

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