Consider these alarming statistics:
* By 2020, behavioral health disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.
* Of the more than 6 million people served by state mental health authorities across the nation, only 21 percent are employed.
* More than half of adolescents in the United States who fail to complete high school have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.
* Between 2009 and 2011 states cumulatively cut more than $1.8 billion from their budgets for services for children and adults living with mental illness.
* In 2009, there were an estimated 45.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with any mental illness in the past year. This represents 19.9 percent of all adults in the U.S.
*Serious mental illnesses cost society $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
* The annual total estimated societal cost of substance abuse in the U.S. is $510 billion.
* In 2008, an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 and older in the U.S. has a serious mental illness.
With our economy still in the toilet, states and federal government threaten to cut even more dollars in mental health funding, which would result in less or no access to mental health treatment and services for countless Americans. Ultimately the cuts steal the one thing that keeps those of us struggling with chronic mood disorders alive: hope.
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