The Mental Health Hope Symposium: Do Not Cut Mental Health CareConsider 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.

7 Comments to
The Mental Health Hope Symposium: Do Not Cut Mental Health Care

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  1. As long as the majority of those impacted by mental health disorders do NOT vote, legislative matters that affect them will not be passed supportively. If people really want to change the way politicians think and act, then take the risk and speak out and vote on election day. Otherwise the status quo is the status woe.

  2. Texas is the lowest of all the states. Terrible. Just say NO! to Perry for President.

  3. This is a sad state of affairs. I have to say that I don’t think insurance companies care at all about health or the lives of their customers. I recently watched a story about a mother of 5 children who had postpartum psychosis. She was in and out of institutions, therapies, etc… The doctors never released her because she was ready to leave…the insurance just ran out. She eventually drowned her 5 children due to lack of support and medical assistance. The lives of 5 children ended…a family destroyed. Sad doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  4. I would be interested to know how these cuts in mental health funding compare to cuts in funding (if any?) for illnesses that aren’t of the brain/mind, especially for illnesses which are not as severe and devastating, or perhaps as widespread, as mental illnesses. Anyone?

  5. Joe: just who should people vote for?

  6. i spent six weeks in a mental health facility. during that time, i resigned from my social work position, and lost my health insurance. also during that time, my psychiatrist retired. upon release, i received one months worth of prescriptions. it took FOUR months to get an appointment at our community mental health office. during that time, i went to the psych er several times to try to get my prescriptions refilled, and i spent a few days AGAIN (and really, unnecessarily) in the psychiatric unit of the hospital because i was feeling suicidal, and without my medications. cutting funding is unacceptable. mental health care is on a shoestring budget as it is, and people, including me, are suffering because of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Actress Glenn Close launched her “anti”-stigma campaign,

    It is not “anti,” it promotes the term. For some people it is very important to promote the term.

    The Women’s Movment took the right road, said stop imposing it upon anyone who has survived sexual assault.

    The promotion ended. No more verbal assault.

    Harold A. Maio

  8. Mental illness has been a part of my family for three generations now. Bipolar disorder, suicide, depression,anorexia and panic disorder have all caused sorrow and grief. The first clues began in early childhood for some of us. For others, the symptoms manifested in adolescense and adulthood. Alcoholism and drug addiction I now,in hindsight, can see were forms of self medication. It is my firm belief that those of us that are affected MUST talk about it and make others aware. Getting help is also a must but often difficult to achieve. No money and no insurance practically dooms people with mental illness to failure when seeking help. Programs to assist those that can’t pay are seriously lacking. Mental illness is not viewed and services are not provided for in the same way physical illnesses are. No one would think a thing about someone saying they had diabetes or cancer but not so with a mental illness. Even though treatment and acceptance has come a long way in my lifetime, there is still far to go. It did not save my fourteen year old niece who had insurance or my thirty year old nephew who did not.

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