National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Tells Congress: Greater Research is Needed for Mental Illness; Along with Federal Action to Offset State Mental Health Crisis and End Disability Backlog
May 12, 2010
NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick outlined the needs of adults and chil+dren living with serious mental illness during "public witness day" before the U.S. House of Representatives Sub
In a prepared statement, Fitzpatrick noted that lack of treatment also results in "spending money in all the wrong places" such as emergency rooms, schools, homeless shelters and the criminal justice system.
One in four Americans experiences mental health problems in any given year. One in 17 lives with the most severe conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14.
NAMI called for a $36 billion overall funding level for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), representing a 12 percent increase, with a corresponding 12 percent increase to $1.7 billion for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). NAMI specified two critical investments: the RAISE (Recovery after an Initial Schizophrenia Episode) study and STARRS (Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service Members) being conducted jointly with the Department of Defense.
State Crisis Relief
NAMI called for increases in funds for services provided through the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services (SAMHSA), including a $100 million increase in federal Mental Health Block Grants to states, which have been frozen since Fiscal Year 2000.
"A total of nearly $1.8 billion has been cut from state mental health agency budgets," Fitzpatrick warned.
"In a number of states the cuts exceed 20 percent.
NAMI praised the Sub