In the first of a series of examinations of the state of mental health services in the United States, NAMI released data from its national survey of individuals with serious mental illnesses and their families. The voices of these more than 3,400 individuals from all 50 states clearly proclaim that their lives have been shattered by the shambled policies and programs that constitute the mental health system of America. It is a national disgrace that permits people in the prime of their adult lives to suffer: rampant unemployment--67 percent; poverty--71 percent living on $20,000 annually or less; repeated psychiatric crises and hospitalization--nearly one-half were hospitalized in the last year alone; imprisonment--44 percent have been arrested or detained by police; and stigma and discrimination--the leading barrier reported to employment by 45 percent of respond ents was stigma and discrimination.
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