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Multi-million dollar mental health reform campaign targets primary states

Mental health advocates are making a multi-million dollar advertising push in early primary states in an attempt to make the issue central to the 2016 presidential election. The NOW campaign, comprised of mental health advocacy groups from across the country, is pouring between $3 million and $7 million in digital ad buys and other efforts in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The campaign launches on Tuesday, before the fourth Republican primary debate. “We’re looking for candidates to have a comprehensive plan. We expect the kind of enlightened public policy approach that is not just a position paper, but a comprehensive plan,” former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who is part of the effort, told PULSE. A handful of Republican and Democratic candidates have been talking about substance abuse and mental health care, but advocates want to make sure the focus stays on the issue.