Respond to two of your colleagues by either supporting or respectfully challenging their explanation on whether there is an evidence base to support the proposed health policy they described.

Peer 1

Tyriss Gordon 

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Evidence Base in Design

Mental health is a huge issue that is often overlooked and swept under the rug. It is a condition that is intentionally unseen, unheard, underresearched, undertreated and overstigmatized (, 2022). Legislation proposed a policy S.Res.518 in February of 2022, requesting that the United States contribute substantial financial support to mental health and substance use disorders, this policy also requests that mental health is treated as priority and with the same importance as physical health (Congress. Gov, 2022). This policy expresses great sympathy, sensitivity and understanding for the mental health community.

Mental Health is much more prevalent than many people think. One out of five Americans experience a mental health issue, one out of  six young people experiences a major depressive episode, and one out of twenty Americans live with a serious mental health issue such as Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression (, 2022). Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the Unites States, more specifically the second leading cause of death for young adults ages 10-24 ( Suicide accounted for more than 45,979 deaths in 2020, which was close to double the statistics for deaths related to homicide ( Mental health has had a severe impact on the American people.

Based on these figures, there is enough evidence base to support the proposed health care policy, and there is more than enough data to show that support from a higher power is lacking. According to (2022) 55% of counties in the U.S. do not have a single psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker, and only 10% of individuals in the U.S. struggling with substance use disorders receive specialty treatment. The resolution of the policy discusses the need for integration of mental health and substance abuse disorders into healthcare treatment, regarding both conditions as part of the health care process and not as a separate entity (, 2022). The policy aims to improve the problem of underdiagnosis, to increase the amount of health care providers who specialize in mental health, and to clarify the misunderstanding  of the correlation between mental health and violence/negativity (, 2022). Cultural/societal barriers and injustices of the minority communities all support the need for this policy as well.

Overall, policies reflect public opinion as well as evidence-based data (Milstead & Short, 2019). When it comes to policy design specifically related to healthcare, there is a significant amount of research required and it takes a multidisciplinary approach, examining different factors, processes and systems related to the issue (Milstead & Short, 2019). In the policy S. Res. 518, it is evident that there wa