Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled a plan Tuesday address the "mental health crisis" in the United States and remove the stigma that she said has existed for too long.
In a blog posted to Medium.com, the New York Democratic senator said she wants access to mental health treatment to be a right not a privilege so it's taken as seriously as physical health. She wants a community-based approach to mental health that's cost-effective so everyone can take advantage of it.
"Transcending race, gender, age, religion or life experience, mental health is a growing crisis in our country -- and it has gone without sufficient attention, care or resources for too long," Gillibrand wrote. "Antiquated stigma and systemic failures have kept millions of Americans from sharing their suffering with others, forcing them to struggle quietly."
She will work to break the barriers that prevent communities from getting proper mental and behavioral health care.
"I will push providers to develop and promote alternative community-based options for treatment, so that patients are met where they are and with the treatment that works best for their needs, without obstacles or stigma," Gillibrand said.
She also wants to expand access to school-based health centers so treatment is more accessible to children. She will also improve access in rural communities
"I will make sure everyone across the country knows and sees that mental health care is real health care," Gillibrand said. "I will increase access to care, fight stigma and change the way people perceive mental health care, and then provide resources for communities to invest in solutions that are already working."
President Donald Trump said he would support changes in gun laws that barred those with mental health issues from possessing guns or purchasing them. He also said Americans should have access to treatment.