Tucked away in the gun law President Biden just signed is a provision increasing funding for preventive outpatient treatment for mental illness. This is an important step toward solving America’s mental-health crisis but only part of what’s needed. Happily, help may be on the way if Republicans take back Congress in November.
From homelessness to crime to rising suicide rates, a variety of problems in America today correlate with mental illnesses. But Democrats, journalists and social activists often focus on other potential causes such as racism, economic inequality or police misbehavior. Ask a Democrat about solving homelessness and the standard response is a call for more housing. But housing alone does little to help people who are in psychological distress. It sometimes makes matters worse if people are more isolated.