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Election 2010: The Nation's Mental Health Crisis; Are Candidates Addressing the Facts? Check Out StateGrades: 21 Ds and 6 Fs

September 7, 2010

Arlington, Va.-- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is reminding editors, reporters and others to ask candidates for public office at every level what they intend to do about the nation's mental health crisis.

Everything from Medicaid to the nation's economic crisis to recovery from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico involves mental health. Unemployed individuals are four times more likely to report symptoms of mental illness.

State budget crises across the country have led to devastating cuts in mental health services, putting lives at risk. Congress bears some responsibility, having cut and then frozen mental health block grants over the past 10 years.

In 2009, NAMI issued the report, Grading the States, based on 65 criteria. The national average was D. In fact, 21 states received Ds and six received Fs.

Eighteen states received Cs. There were only six Bs, but those states are also in jeopardy. In times of crisis, states need to move forward, not retreat. State mental health care needs to be strengthened—not cut.

See Grades Below

We need governors and legislators who are willing to invest in change. The alternative is too many people living with mental illness who end up hospitalized, on the street, in jail or dead.

Please ask candidates what they propose to do about the mental health crisis. NAMI is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates. As the fall campaigns continue, we will be sharing more facts.

F States

Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming

D States

Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah

C States

Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

B States

Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy. NAMI is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates.

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