One of the most important advances in treating serious mental illness in recent years is improving care for people experiencing a first onset of serious mental illness. We know that early phases of psychosis can be identified, and that team based coordinated specialty care treatment reduces the likelihood of long-term disability. SAMHSA’s new Early Serious Mental Illness Treatment Locator will help connect people experiencing a first onset of serious mental illness to effective care.
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Our population is aging. Approximately 75 million Americans will be over age 65 by 2030. Additionally, in 2012, one in five older adults in the U.S. experienced a mental illness, substance use disorder, or both. That ratio, should it still exist in 2030, would equal approximately 15 million people. The growing number of older adults with mental or substance use disorders could have a tremendous impact on the healthcare needs of our nation.
SAMHSA joins national organizations and hundreds of communities in observing Mental Health Awareness Month, we have more possibilities than ever before to prevent, treat, and promote recovery from mental illness. The President and this Administration have made behavioral health a primary focus of its public health efforts, particularly opioid addiction and serious mental illness (SMI). I hope that you will join us in our efforts.A critical part of SAMHSA’s activities moving forward in the area of SMI is the work of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC). Formed in 2017, the ISMICC is a new Committee, included in a law called the 21st Century Cures Act, composed of federal and non-federal members.
The week of March 26-30 is National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health Awareness Week. At SAMHSA, this week provides the opportunity to highlight the needs of LGBT Americans with serious mental illness (SMI).Data from SAMHSA’s 2015-2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Health provides insight on the prevalence of substance use and mental disorders among lesbian, gay and bisexual adults. The data indicate that LGB adults have higher rates of mental illness when compared to all adults.
Cindy Kemp helps people with serious mental illnesses get the help, treatment services and recovery supports they need, so they can lead healthy lives.