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Gillibrand unveils mental health plan

Gillibrand unveils mental health plan
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAustin tight lipped on whether to take sexual assault cases out of commanders' hands Gillibrand touts legislation to lower drug costs: This idea 'is deeply bipartisan' A bipartisan effort to prevent the scourge of sexual assault in the armed forces MORE (D-N.Y.) unveiled her plan to improve mental health care in the U.S. this week, arguing that the issue demands more attention from leaders. 

The Democratic presidential candidate wrote in a Medium post on Tuesday that she plans to invest in community-based approaches to mental and behavioral health, personalize the way the U.S. delivers mental health care and require insurance coverage for mental and behavioral health. 

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The senator's plan also draws a link between the mental health and opioid crisis in the U.S., calling for integrating substance abuse treatments with behavioral and mental health treatments, as well as investing in family support services and formalizing pain and addiction medicines. 

Mental health has become a topic of conversation in the wake of a string of mass shootings across the U.S., with President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE and Republicans arguing that poor mental health is behind the shootings, not access to firearms. 

Gillibrand addressed the role of mental health in mass shootings during an event promoting her plan in New Hampshire on Wednesday but pinned most of the blame on easy access to firearms. 

“One of the challenges in New Hampshire and other states, it's just the easy access to weapons,” she told NBC News. "We have to ban assault weapons, the military-style weapons, and the large magazines.”