WASHINGTON, D.C.– Recent disparaging and inaccurate remarks about mental illness serve only to perpetuate stigma and prohibit honest and open dialogue about an illness (or disorder) that affects one in five people in the nation. Now is the time for us to come together and look for a bipartisan solution that ensures early intervention and access to mental health and substance use treatment rather than taking steps backward. With the scientific advances in prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery today, we should be moving forward in caring for people with mental illness and substance abuse. Despite increased public awareness about mental health issues, accessing treatment remains a challenging task due to multiple factors, such as fragmented delivery and reimbursement systems, regulatory barriers, and workforce shortages. We must also work together to create more public education and awareness regarding persons with mental illness to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illnesses as we did for persons with HIV/AIDS and cancer in the past.
We call upon the President, Congress, and the country to join us in a meaningful dialogue on improving mental health care in this country. We welcome the opportunity to discuss ways to:
The American Psychiatric Association stands ready to work with the Administration and Congress to achieve these goals.
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,800 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.