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  In Support Of Janssen Pharmaceutica's Person-To-Person Initiative

Statement By Laurie M. Flynn, Executive Director
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill


Contact:
Mary G. Rappaport (703) 524-7600
For Immediate Release
18 Apr 97

New York, NY -- We commend Janssen Pharmaceutica for launching its "Person-to-Person" initiative. This innovative program will provide a valuable support service to persons with schizophrenia, to their families, and to health care providers. Through a program that strengthens the link between patients, family members, and the health care system, "Person-to-Person" can be a useful tool in rebuilding lives interrupted by a debilitating brain disorder.

Serious brain disorders, such as schizophrenia, typically result in lifelong disability taking a terrible toll on patients and family members. However, persons with schizophrenia and their loved ones have real hope for meaningful recovery. Unprecedented scientific advances, improved treatments, and the slow, but steady, end to discrimination in health insurance, housing options, and employment opportunities will mean that more individuals with this brain disorder will be able to lead independent lives of dignity.

Nevertheless, fragmented, confusing, and underfunded services are still too often the reality for persons with schizophrenia. In this age of health care reform, "Person-to-Person" can provide an important connection to the complex, fragmented, and rapidly changing service delivery system. We applaud Janssen for providing another important key that will help pave the road to recovery.

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons with severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), major depression, and anxiety disorders. NAMI has more than 140,000 individual members and 1,140 state and local affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada. NAMI's efforts focus on support to persons with serious brain disorders and to their families; advocacy for nondiscriminatory and equitable federal and state policies; research into the causes, symptoms, and treatments for brain disorders; and education to eliminate the pervasive stigma toward severe mental illnesses. NAMI's Campaign to End Discrimination -- "Open Your Mind, Mental Illnesses Are Brain Disorders" -- is a five-year effort to end discrimination against people with severe mental illnesses in insurance, housing, and employment.  


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