National Alliance on Mental Illness
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State budget cuts are impacting mental health systems at a level never faced before. Across the country, demand for public mental health care is increasing while budget cuts are reducing coverage for and access to treatment for children and adults with mental illness. NAMI recognizes this as a priority issue and has organized an initiative, State Advocacy 2010, to protect and strengthen funding for mental health treatment and supports. (more)


The goal of NAMI's State Advocacy 2010 initiative is to help protect and strengthen funding for mental health care treatment for children and adults by equipping our leaders, members and Web visitors with the information, tools and skills to engage in successful state budget advocacy efforts.

State Advocacy 2010 Advisory Group

A group of six leading NAMI executive directors and three members of NAMI's Board of Directors provide strategic vision, planning and oversight in their integral role as an advisory group to the State Advocacy 2010 initiative.

Sue Abderholden, Executive Director, NAMI Minnesota

Sheila Amdur, First Vice President, Board of Directors, NAMI

Graham Champion, Board of Directors, NAMI

Mike Cohen, Executive Director, NAMI New Hampshire
New Hampshire

Sita Diehl, Executive Director, NAMI Tennessee

Mira Signer, Executive Director, NAMI Virginia

Kevin Sullivan, Board of Directors, NAMI

Sherri Wittwer, Executive Director, NAMI Utah

Alicia Woodsby, Public Policy Director, NAMI Connecticut

  • The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, mental illness will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide, after heart disease.
  • Major mental disorders cost the nation at least $193 billion annually in lost earnings alone, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
  • When workers with depression were treated with prescription medicines medical costs declined by $882 per employee per year and absenteeism dropped by 9 days (Health Economics).
  • Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, three-quarters by age 24. Treating cases early could reduce enormous disability, before mental illnesses become more severe.
  • One in four adults experiences a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year, including our returning troops. One in ten children has a serious mental or emotional disorder.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for America's youth ages 15-24. More youth and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined. The vast majority of those who die by suicide have a mental illness-often undiagnosed or untreated.
  • Our jails and prisons are now the largest psychiatric wards in the nation, housing well over 350,000 inmates with serious mental illness compared to approximately 70,000 patients with serious mental illness in hospitals.
  • One out of every five community hospital stays involves a primary or secondary diagnosis of mental illness.