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Tell Congress To Fund Critical Mental Health Resources

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More than 100 million Americans live in areas with limited access to behavioral and mental health services. Take a stand!


In 2019, nearly a billion people — including 14% of the world's adolescents — were living with a mental disorder.

Suicide accounted for more than 1 in 100 deaths and 58% of suicides occurred before age 50. Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability, causing 1 in 6 years lived with disability. People with severe mental health conditions die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, mostly due to preventable physical diseases1.

Depression and anxiety went up by more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic alone2.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, just a small fraction of people in need had access to effective, affordable and quality mental health care. At least 71% of those with psychosis worldwide do not receive mental health services. While 70% of people with psychosis are reported to be treated in high-income countries, only 12% of people with psychosis receive mental health care in low-income countries2.

Even in high-income countries, only one third of people with depression receive formal mental health care, while minimally-adequate treatment for depression is estimated to range from 23% in high-income countries to 3% in low- and lower-middle-income countries3.

The work of health care providers in the U.S. has been deeply impacted by the pandemic, and quality care has emerged as an even greater challenge than in previous years4, especially because of a lack of funding and the negative stigmas attached to mental health5.

More than 100 million Americans live in areas with limited access to behavioral and mental health services, and shortages of psychiatrists and addiction counselors are expected to persist through 20306, while many hospitals have been forced to decrease the size of their behavioral health workforce because of budget cuts7.

The Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act of 2022 (S.4170) addresses COVID-19's devastating impact on the national mental health crisis, especially among children, by building upon earlier legislation to improve and expand those programs8.

This legislation would strengthen existing mental health and substance use disorder parity laws, improve community mental health services, expand access to pediatric mental health care, increase recruitment of a diverse mental health workforce, and provide a path to recovery for vulnerable individuals9.

Sign the petition in support of the Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act of 2022 and support mental health for all!

More on this issue:

  1. World Health Organization (17 June 2022), "WHO highlights urgent need to transform mental health and mental health care."
  2. World Health Organization (2 March 2022), "COVID-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide."
  3. Mental Health America (2022), "The State Of Mental Health In America."
  4. American Hospital Association (2 February 2022), "AHA House Statement: America's Mental Health Crisis February 2, 2022."
  5. U.S. Government Accountability Office (10 December 2021), "Behavioral Health and COVID-19: Higher-Risk Populations and Related Federal Relief Funding."
  6. Health Resources and Services Administration Health Workforce, "Behavioral Health Workforce Projections, 2017-2030."
  7. Rick Pollack, American Hospital Association (18 February 2022), "Perspective: We Must Address America's Behavioral Health Crisis Now."
  8. Mental Health America (2022), "The Mental Health of Healthcare Workers In COVID-19."
  9. Sen. Bill Cassidy, 117th Congress (10 May 2022), "S.4170 - Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act of 2022."
  10. Chris Murphy (18 May 2022), "Support Grows for Murphy, Cassidy Legislation to Reauthorize and Improve Upon Mental Health Reform Act."
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The Petition:

To Sen. Bill Cassidy and other members of Congress,

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, just a small fraction of people in need had access to effective, affordable and quality mental health care. The WHO maintains that at least 71% of those with psychosis worldwide do not receive mental health services. While 70% of people with psychosis are reported to be treated in high-income countries, only 12% of people with psychosis receive mental health care in low-income countries.

Mental disorders are currently the leading cause of disability in the world, causing 1 in 6 years lived with disability. People with severe mental health conditions die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, mostly due to preventable physical diseases.

More than 100 million Americans now live in areas with shortages of psychiatrists, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) projects shortages of psychiatrists and addiction counselors to persist through 2030, while many hospitals have been forced to decrease the size of their behavioral health programs because of budget cuts.

The Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act of 2022 (S.4170), which you have sponsored, addresses COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the national mental health crisis, especially among children, by building upon earlier legislation to improve and expand those programs.

This piece of legislation is critical to the mental health of all Americans, and I fully support your efforts in making this bill a law.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: