Identify your selected healthcare concern in your city or state that needs your advocacy with an elected official. What is the impetus and rationale for your selection? Describe the model of policy making that you feel would be best applied to your policy concern and the rationale for selecting this model. Bellow is the page to find more infor about the assignment discussion. https://chamberlain.instructure.com/courses/40579/pages/week-2-lesson?module_item_id=4958807 Please use one scholar paper within 5 years. minimum of 300 words. Use simple but professional language.

Title: Advocating for Improved Access to Mental Healthcare in California: Applying an Incremental Policy Model

Introduction:
The healthcare concern that needs advocacy with an elected official in California is the inadequate access to mental healthcare services. This issue has emerged as a significant concern due to the growing prevalence of mental health disorders and the subsequent strain on existing healthcare systems. The impetus for selecting this concern stems from the recognition of the population’s increasing mental health needs and the resulting gaps in service provision. This paper will discuss the model of policy making that would be best applied in addressing this concern, specifically focusing on the incremental policy model.

Rationale for Selection:
The selection of inadequate access to mental healthcare as the healthcare concern to be addressed through advocacy with an elected official in California is driven by several factors. Firstly, the prevalence of mental health disorders is on the rise in the state, with an estimated 21.4% of the adult population experiencing a mental illness in the past year (SAMHSA, 2018). Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated mental health issues, necessitating prompt policy action.

Despite the increasing demand for mental healthcare services, access remains limited due to various barriers. These barriers include a shortage of mental health professionals, limited availability of services in rural areas, insufficient insurance coverage, and stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment. The consequences of inadequate access to mental healthcare are far-reaching, including increased rates of suicide, homelessness, and strain on emergency departments as individuals seek crisis intervention.

Furthermore, addressing the issue of inadequate access to mental healthcare aligns with the broader goal of achieving equity in healthcare provision. Mental health disparities persist among vulnerable populations, including low-income individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, and those with limited English proficiency (Mojtabai, 2017). By advocating for improved access to mental healthcare, the aim is to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status, have equal opportunities to receive the care they need.

Model of Policy Making – Incremental Policy Model:
The incremental policy model is the most appropriate approach to address the concern of inadequate access to mental healthcare in California. The rationale for selecting this model lies in its recognition of the complex and dynamic nature of policy making, allowing for flexibility and adaptability in the face of evolving circumstances.

The incremental policy model is characterized by gradual and iterative policy changes rather than sudden and comprehensive reforms (Birkland, 2020). This approach recognizes that policy making is often constrained by limited resources, competing interests, and bureaucratic complexities. By adopting an incremental approach, policymakers can implement small-scale changes that are politically feasible, cost-effective, and have a higher likelihood of garnering support from various stakeholders.

In the context of inadequate access to mental healthcare, an incremental policy model would involve a series of incremental steps aimed at expanding mental health services and reducing barriers to access. For instance, efforts could begin by enhancing telehealth services to improve access for individuals in rural or underserved areas. This could be followed by increasing funding for mental health workforce development to address the shortage of mental health professionals. Additionally, policy changes could be implemented to improve insurance coverage for mental health services, thereby reducing financial barriers.

The incremental policy model recognizes that addressing complex healthcare concerns, such as inadequate access to mental healthcare, requires a multifaceted approach that involves collaboration between different stakeholders. Incremental changes can also help policymakers learn from preceding steps and adapt their strategies accordingly, resulting in more effective policies in the long run.

Conclusion:
Inadequate access to mental healthcare is a critical healthcare concern in California that necessitates advocacy with elected officials. The incremental policy model provides a suitable framework for addressing this concern, given its flexibility, adaptability, and emphasis on gradual policy changes. By implementing a series of incremental steps aimed at expanding mental health services and reducing barriers to access, policymakers can work towards improving the mental health outcomes and overall well-being of the population.