In dealing with the fact that our prisons have become the new mental health facilities in America, and all of the abuse and neglect coming from that, my friend and colleague, great lawyer Stephen Hampton, Esq., sees the suffering behind the lost $444 Billion annually which the neglect of our mentally ill costs us. Yes, $444 Billion!

He sent me this article; open The Whole Story to see more details.

Excerpts from the Article:

A social marketing campaign in California seems to have steered more individuals with probable mental illness towards treatment, a cross-sectional telephone survey indicated.

In a group of nearly 2,000 adults with scores of 9 or more on the Kessler-6 (K6) Distress Scale, those who reported being exposed to the campaign in the past year had a significantly higher perceived need for mental health treatment (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.09-2.47) and were significantly more likely to receive such care (OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.17-2.83) compared with unexposed individuals, after adjusting for demographic characteristics and K6 scores, reported Rebecca Collins, PhD, of the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and colleagues.

Those exposed to the campaign were also more likely to have positive beliefs about the possibility of recovery from mental illness than those who were unexposed; however, the other five dimensions of stigma assessed — including negative beliefs about treatment, awareness of public stigma, or intention to conceal mental health — were not significantly different between groups, the team wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.

“We do not have clear evidence of a causal effect of the California campaign, and campaigns might not be as effective in an environment that is not as supportive of people with mental illness,” Collins and co-authors wrote. “However, our results suggest that similar campaigns hold promise and should be considered as a way of closing the gap between the percentage of people in the [U.S.] with a need for mental health services and the substantially smaller percentage who use them.”

Also, among residents who perceived a need for treatment, those who were exposed to the campaign were not significantly more likely to receive care (OR 1.52, 95% CI 0.78-2.96), the researchers reported.

Taken together, the findings indicate the campaign may have functioned by helping participants with probable mental illness recognize their symptoms as treatable, as opposed to reducing stigma, Collins told MedPage Today.

“We know only about half of people who have mental health problems end up getting help for it, and one of the reasons we think this is the case is stigma, and another … is that a lot of people might not identify and label what they’re experiencing as a mental health problem or as something that needs to be treated,” she said. “I think [this study] says it’s not just stigma that is at play.”

In total, just over half of participants (51.9%) said they needed mental healthcare in the past year, and 70.2% of these individuals received treatment. About a quarter reported being exposed to the campaign (27.6%), and Latino and black respondents were more likely to have experienced a part of the campaign than white individuals were.

Notably, there was a general “uptick” in the use of mental health services across this time period; in 2014 and 2015 the increase in California was 2.3 times greater than the national increase in mental health services, according to the study.

The Whole Story