CAMPAIGN FOR THE MIND OF AMERICA IN MASSACHUSETTS
NAMI Massachusetts’ Campaign for the Mind of America is an effort on many fronts to promote investment in recovery and to prevent the abandonment of yet another generation of Americans with mental illnesses to neglect and hopelessness. The Campaign highlights the need to build a comprehensive, efficient system to screen, evaluate, diagnose and treat mental illnesses at every stage of life. Nearly 185 thousand of Massachusetts’ over 6 million residents have a severe mental illness. Of those adults living with mental illness in Massachusetts, 37 percent, or over 46,000 people, are eligible for Medicaid services through the state’s mental health system, yet half do not have access to treatment at all.
As part of the campaign, NAMI Massachusetts released The State of the Mental Health System in Massachusetts. This report chronicles the results of an ineffective, insufficient mental health services and foreshadows the consequences that would result if state leaders’ plans to restrict access for Massachusetts’ citizens even further are implemented.
Nationwide, untreated mental illness costs the nation more than $100 billion annually from lost productivity and diverted resources. The Campaign is creating unique partnerships among different sectors on the front lines that deal with the crisis. In tandem with community leaders, the Campaign will work to underscore the unintended costs and consequences to the community of lack of access to treatment and services for those living with mental illness.
NAMI Massachusetts is affiliated with NAMI National and is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of everyone affected by mental illness. Services are provided both directly and through a statewide structure of local affiliates and support groups in communities across the state.
Campaign Partners (as of April 2004):
American College of Emergency Physicians
National Association of County and City Health Officials
Child Welfare League
Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
Judge Maurice Richardson, Director of Diversion Resource Center, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School
The Samaritans of Boston