Mental Illness, Insurance, Homelessness, and some proposed solutions

From the National Coalition for the Homeless: Mental Illness and Homelessness 

This 1 page synopsis contains some basic facts, a discussion of policy issues, and references to it’s more thorough sources. Briefly summarized, the synopsis reveals that 20-25% of homeless persons suffer from mental illness, and that difficulties in maintaining relationships, obtaining employment, and a lack of household and self-care skills contribute to this.

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Additionally, this online summary sheet  is an examination of the state of mental health services in the United States from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, entitled Treatment/Recovery Information and Advocacy Database- Results of a National Survey of NAMI Members Living with Mental Illnesses and Their Families:

http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/About_Public_Policy/Policy_Research_Institute/TRIAD/TRIAD_Summary_Sheet.pdf

The insurance industry needs to be held accountable for their denial of the treatments prescribed by the doctors of persons with mental health issues.  Here are some articles which address this matter. The first zeroes in on an  insurance company and the story (from the TV show 60 Minutes) of a young lady, now deceased, who was denied treatment by them. The second article gives excerpts of other stories of extreme frustration in regard to insurance coverage:

The Middle Ground: Anthem, Mental Health’s Public Enemy No. 1, Called Out in “Denied”

National Alliance on Mental Illness: What NAMI members said about health insurance coverage for people with mental illness

One problem is that persons with mental health issues often neglect their treatments, and lose their disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. This can be due to the fact that the prescribed treatments or medications are unaffordable, with no free or low-cost clinics reasonably available, or perhaps simply because of mental illness, the failure to follow treatment being a symptom of the disease. Here is a legal site which addresses this matter: NOLO Law for all: Being Denied Disability for Failing to Take Medication or Follow Treatment

And finally, here are two webpages which put forth solutions to these problems. (1. How to fix the broken system so that persons with mental illness can recover. 2. How to pay for care.)

NAMI/TRIAD: 12 standards of care

MHA: Paying for Care

Picture from Lupal Dacic

 

 

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