topics Announcements CEO Andy Keller Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee on COVID-19 & Lessons Learned in Texas

CEO Andy Keller Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee on COVID-19 & Lessons Learned in Texas

On Wednesday, April 28, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) President and CEO Andy Keller, PhD, presented invited testimony to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to discuss the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and how lessons learned in Texas can be used nationally to address mental health and substance use disorders.

Dr. Keller testified that the primary lesson that needs to be learned from COVID-19 pandemic is that the nation can rapidly scale up and deliver early detection, treatment, and prevention if we pair the will to act with the necessary resources. This would be much easier to do for mental illness and addiction, because we already know how to successfully detect and treat most of these conditions.

Dr. Keller further discussed the response of COVID-19 in Texas and the long-standing epidemics of mental illness and substance use, which worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dr. Keller also explained the importance of funding psychiatry access programs commensurate with the national need and making regulatory relief on telehealth permanent. He stressed the promise of the Collaborative Care Model for health care and the crucial need for early intervention for psychosis with coordinated specialty care nationwide.

How to watch

The hearing will be broadcast live starting at 9:00 AM on Wednesday, April 28. The video archive link is the same as the live broadcast link.

Additional Resources

Examining Our COVID-19 Response: Using Lessons Learned in Texas to Address Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Dr. Keller’s written testimony presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

What is the Collaborative Care Model?
Providing access to mental health care through primary care is the single most important step health systems can take to address the worsening mental health crisis. The Collaborative Care Model is an evidenced-based practice to bring physical and mental health care and treatment together within the same primary care provider’s office.

White Paper Series: COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Impacts
The Meadows Institute’s 2020 series examining the potential effects of the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn on suicide and substance use

Intellectual and Developmental Disability and Behavioral Health Services
Texas Health and Human Services IDD-BHS department’s 2020 Annual Report