Public Policy Platform
As members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Palm Beach County, we have experienced firsthand the benefits to individuals with mental/brain illnesses who receive adequate care. Recovery is possible and well documented.
One in five adults and at least one in ten children experiences a mental disorder in any given year. One in seventeen lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Based on the 2010 figures from the US Census Bureau, we estimate the numbers in Palm Beach County to be 264,000 adults and 26,400 children living with mental illness.
Our experience informs us that the answer to the problem of mental illness is timely psychiatric care, counseling, appropriate medications, and strong family and community support. With these in place, mentally ill people can, and do, function as fully contributing members of our society, and all of these steps thus become part of a reasonable recovery process. Crisis stabilization units are needed, but follow-up care is a major step that is crucial to promote and maintain the recovery.
Our legislative action plan embraces the following:
We strive to:
- Maintain or increase access to appropriate treatment services for people with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders;
- Endorse diversionary programs to engender public safety, promote decriminalization and provide an atmosphere of recovery for the mentally ill;
- Provide education to increase awareness of mental health needs in the community;
- Promote early identification and intervention for timely and appropriate treatment
- Support investment in supportive housing for those in our community with mental/brain illnesses.
We believe that a good public policy must be based on respect for fellow human beings. We advocate at all levels to ensure that all persons affected by mental illness receive the services that they need and deserve in a timely fashion.