The United States spends $113 billion on mental health treatment. That works out to about 5.6 percent of the national health-care spending, according to a 2011 paper in the journal Health Affairs. In contrast, Half of all Americans will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. This means that we are not providing proper care for a condition that will affect half of our population. The mental health stigma needs to be addressed and we need to understand that politics is putting mental care on the back burner.
When the government does not financially support the people who have the tools to reduce and care for such an important issue the blood is on their hands. Ensuring access to a variety of services and supports that enable Americans to stay in their communities and to contribute to society should be a nonpartisan issue.
Mental health is especially imperative to fund and educate because it affect us, our friends, family members, and other members of our communities regardless of where we stand politically.
“We have replaced the hospital bed with the jail cell, the homeless shelter and the coffin,” says Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a child psychologist leading an effort to remodel the mental health system. “How is that compassionate?”