Gillibrand unveils mental health plan

Gillibrand unveils mental health plan
© Greg Nash

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandAt debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR Trump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions Klobuchar, Buttigieg find themselves accidentally flying to debate together 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 John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat 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.”