Consumers & Families Test State Mental Health Agency Systems
A unique and innovative component of Grading the States: A Report on America’s Health Care System for Serious Mental Illness is the “Consumer and Family Test Drive” (CFTD). NAMI wanted to evaluate each state’s mental health agency in real world situations because access to services depends on access to information. We therefore had consumers and family members navigate the Web site and telephone system of the state mental health agency in each state and rate their accessibility according to how easily one could obtain basic information.
This exercise was like a “pop quiz.” One that America failed. Over 80 percent of the states scored less than 50 percent of the total points. Read More...
Study Confirms That Stigma Still a Barrier to Psychiatric Care
A new study shows that while most Americans think that psychiatric drugs work, they probably wouldn’t ever use them.
The study, released by the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services at Indiana University, Bloomington, indicates that the stigma associated with taking antidepressants and psychiatric drugs remains high even though people increasingly understand mental illness and appreciate advances in treatment. Read More...
Pete Earley is an award-winning investigative reporter whose previous books have been about spies, prisons, and the witness protection program. To some degree, this background may have prepared him to write Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, which will be released April 20, but as NAMI consumers, families, and friends know, nothing ever prepares a person for the shock of mental illness.
“I had no idea,” Earley begins.
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Earley’s son, Mike, recently out of college, broke into a stranger’s house to take a bubble bath and vandalized the premises. Frustration with an inability to get Mike into treatment—including his son’s periodic refusals to take medication—as well as the legal procedures surrounding mental illness, caused Earley to use his journalism skills to explore the rapid cycling that exists today between hospitals, courthouses, and jails. Read More...
Grading the States
No state received an A grade for services
17 states received an F grade for information access
New York and Colorado were the only states not to respond to NAMI’s request for information
Tennessee had the highest score on the Consumer and Family Test Drive but still only received 24.75 points out of a possible 40 points
Illinois finances low-income housing from real estate transaction fees
Kentucky set up a telephone triage system in jails financed through DWI fines
District of Columbia ranks the highest in per capita mental health spending at $414.08 and has the nation's lowest suicide rate