National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Election 2010: Will Candidates Address the Facts? Check out State Suicide Rates and New Obama Administration Numbers; Unemployed Persons and Veterans are Especially at Risk
September 14, 2010
Arlintgon, Va.--The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has issued the second alert in a series reminding editors, reporters and others to ask candidates for public office what they will do about the nation's mental health crisis.
State budget cuts in mental health services are putting lives at risk. Federal mental health block grants also have been cut or frozen over the past 10 years.
The latest alert highlights state suicide rates and ranks with special concern for unemployed persons and veterans. Approximately 35,000 Americans die from suicide each year. The most recent state-by-state data is from 2007, before the current economic crisis even began.
On September 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported additional numbers:
Approximately 60 million Americans experience a mental health disorder, including depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in any given year. Less than one-third receives mental health care.
Unemployed persons and veterans are at higher risk. Unemployed persons are four times more likely to report symptoms of mental illness. Male veterans are twice as likely to die by suicide than civilians.
NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates.