READOUT: Secretary Marty Walsh, mental health advocates meet to discuss access to health services, treatment, supportive workplaces
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh met with leading mental health advocacy groups, health care professional associations and other stakeholders today in Washington to discuss workers’ access to mental health services, treatment and supportive workplaces.
Held as the nation’s observance of National Recovery Month and National Suicide Prevention Week, the gathering allowed the Secretary and officials from the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, including Acting Assistant Secretary of Employee Benefits Security Ali Khawar, to highlight the department’s work to enforce and interpret the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, and other departmental initiatives focused on mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
“Enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act is critically important to the Department of Labor, and we also recognize the many impacts that mental health conditions and substance use disorders have on U.S. workplaces,” explained Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “These concerns affect workplace safety and health, impede equitable job training, underscore the importance of family and medical leave, and highlight the need for employers to provide supportive workplaces.”
Following Secretary Walsh’s remarks, those in attendance participated in a discussion on topics ranging from suicide prevention in the workplace, exclusion of medical treatment for eating disorders, the economic toll of mental health conditions, and barriers to job development training for mental health workers. The discussion included representatives of the following organizations:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- American Mental Health Counselors Assoc.
- American Psychiatric Assoc.
- Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
- Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy and Action
- Families USA
- Mental Health America
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Alliance for Eating Disorders
- National Assoc. of Addiction Treatment Providers
- National Council for Mental Wellbeing
- The Kennedy Forum