Mental Care Reinstitution Act Essay

Mental Care Reinstitution Act Essay

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Congress hereby finds and declares that public care for the mentally ill is a national need and the state and federally sponsored psychiatric hospital system shall be reinstated to aid in a healthier nation as well as provide lower cost psychiatric care for low income households. Every year, nearly 44 million Americans suffer from a mental illness. 4.4 million people suffer from severe mental disorders and 40%, 1.8 million people, go completely untreated every day. From post traumatic stress from a war to genetically developed schizophrenia, many of them go untreated due to poor, unavailable, or over priced treatment. The deinstitutionalization of state mental facilities left many untreated, homeless, or simply incarcerated. In 1990, many state psychiatric hospitals closed their doors once funding was revoked under President Reagan’s Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981. As more wars raged on, numerous soldiers returned home without receiving help for post traumatic stress disorder causing many veterans to commit suicide under self established pressure. In addition, the modern day adolescent population is more at risk for mental issues and less likely to receive treatment. By reinstating these state sponsored mental health facilities, the entire United States population will benefit from possible reduced incarcerated population, homeless population, a healthier American youth, and expanded American work force.

When it comes to policy, Reagan’s budget cuts caused the largest shockwave to the United States mental health care system. In 1981 when Reagan’s act was passed, mental health care spending was cut by 30%. By 1985, federal funding accounted for 11% of all “community mental health agency budgets.” By 2009, the Great Rece...


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...ital Beds for Mentally Ill Persons, mentalillnesspolicy.org, http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/imd/shortage-hospital-beds.html
National Center for PTSD, Symptoms of PTSD, ptsd.va.gov, http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/symptoms_of_ptsd.asp
Veteran’s Statistics: PTSD, Depression, TBI, and Suicide, veteransandptsd.com, http://www.veteransandptsd.com/PTSD-statistics.html
Robert Bossarte and Janet Kemp, Suicide Data Report, 2012, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/suicide-data-report-2012-final.pdf
Leo Shane III, “Report: Suicide Rate Spikes Among Young Veterans,” published January 9th, 2014, http://www.stripes.com/report-suicide-rate-spikes-among-young-veterans-1.261283
Ret. Lt. Col. Steve Brozak, Veteran’s Access to Mental Health Services Needs Fixing, CNN, http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/11/news/economy/veterans-mental-health/

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