National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Statement For Immediate Release: November 1, 2002

President Bush's "New Freedom" Commission on Mental Health Releases Interim Report

Statement of Jim McNulty, President
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Contact: Bob Carolla: 703-524-7600

Today's interim report is an important first step. It defines critical problems in the nation's mental healthcare system-and confirms the fact that after three decades of broken promises, the system is worse than many people ever imagined.

Meanwhile, States have been cutting back on mental health services. In 2003, greater budget bloodletting is expected than in 2002, but few candidates in Tuesday's elections have been talking candidly about it.

The knowledge and tools for recovery are available right now. Treatment works. Recovery is possible. But because of a fragmented treatment system and inadequate adoption of evidence-based practices, millions of Americans are condemned to isolation, neglect and despair.

NAMI looks forward to the Commission's final report in 2003, which will recommend specific solutions. Whether it ultimately proposes sweeping reforms or only a modest beginning, a political revolution is needed to ensure that no more generations of Americans are abandoned to mental illness.