National Alliance on Mental Illness
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For Immediate Release, October 4, 2001
Contact: Marie Wyffels
Accessing mental illness treatment and services is a particular challenge for individuals living in isolated rural communities. The challenges related to geographic isolation are too often further compounded by the stigma associated with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and severe anxiety disorders. Advances in scientific research and medical treatment for these serious brain disorders have been tremendous in recent years.
Unfortunately, these advances in science and treatment have not always reached individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses living in isolated rural communities.
A bipartisan coalition of senators - led by Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY) - have introduced legislation (S 859) to bring these advances in research and treatment to under-served rural areas.
Among the key provisions in the Rural Mental Health Accessibility Act (S 859) are:
NAMI strongly supports S 859 and urges advocates to contact their senators to urge them to support this important legislation by adding their names as cosponsors. All Senate offices can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. Fax numbers, email and mail addresses can be obtained at Write to Congress page of www.congress.org.