Mental illness and suicide are epidemics in the US.
Yet our mental health care system is severely broken and dysfunctional. I know this from personal experience. I had to struggle to stay functional and navigate it for 16 years before getting the tools and care that I needed to be reasonably mentally healthy.
Many don’t have the wherewithal or breaks that I had and wind up in prison or living on the streets. It takes a great deal of tenacity to get mental health care in the US if one is poor or working class.
Demand for mental health care in the US far outweighs supply, leaving families to take on the burden – and cost – of providing care.
High standards for involuntary committment make it difficult for families to get help for loved ones struggling with serious mental illness. “Dangerousness” , a common standard across America, means you must let a loved one spin out of control before securing care
The US spends $113 billion annually on mental health care. A mere 5.6% of the health care budget.
Most of the federal health care dollars go to prescription drugs and outpatient treatment.
Fellow Advocates, we have work to do.