2016 Election: The View from Quartet
The polls have been closed for nearly a week, the ballots are almost all counted, and the electoral college has spoken: Donald Trump is our president-elect.
The web is bursting with analysis, commentary, and prognostication from every conceivable point of view. A new administration always raises questions about what the next president’s path will be and given the areas of focus from Donald Trump’s campaign, many of us are looking forward to additional clarity around policies that will be set into action, especially around mental health and healthcare in general. Right now, the country is watching and waiting with some uncertainty, yet forward-looking anticipation of what’s to come.
This deep breathing exercise went viral the night of the election. It is actually a visualization of controlled breathing - an effective tool employed by patients suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
A high degree of uncertainty can actually have a negative effect on our collective mental health. A Vox survey of 7,000 voters on election day found “anxious” to be the single most common feeling among their readers, even before election results started coming in. In the weeks leading up to the election, mental health care providers were seeing a drastic increase in patient volume owing to “presidential election anxiety.” Most alarmingly, in the days following the election, calls to suicide and crisis hotlines increased 200% in some areas of the country.
The need for easily accessible mental health care is as great now as it has ever been, and at Quartet we are committed to helping everyone get the care they need.
So what does Trump’s election mean for us, and for mental health care in general? Without policy specifics, it is hard to say. At Quartet, we were encouraged when Hillary Clinton released a comprehensive mental health agenda, which promised to go far towards further integrating mental and physical health care in the US. Obviously we acknowledge that Trump and Clinton’s policies and priorities differ, but we hope that the Trump administration looks to the very real need identified by the Clinton campaign. Regardless of political affiliation, mental health is a non-partisan issue that affects everyone.
At Quartet, we also understand that the Affordable Care Act has both allies and enemies in Washington, but despite its challenges, a great many more Americans have health insurance today than would have without it. More people with health insurance means more people who we can connect to excellent mental health care. We hope that the next iteration of the ACA continues to offer all Americans the health insurance plans they need to stay healthy.
Moving forward, Quartet continues to approach the future with optimism and the knowledge that we are growing rapidly and helping thousands of people every day.
Ben Duchac, RN, is a member of the Product team at Quartet.