Cruz Calls for Full Re-Funding of Mental Health (Chicago, IL) — Rob Cruz, candidate for Congress in the Sixth District, following yesterdays school shooting, today calls for restoration of ‘full funding’ for mental health services from the Federal, State and local budgets as well as calling on employer sponsored health plans to increase benefits for those insured privately, through their jobs. “If your working and think you have private mental heath coverage, you had better check, I am sure you will be shocked at how little you have”, he warned.
“When I was a member of my local school board, I pleaded for more resources for the kids who were clearly acting out as a result of COVID restrictions. In one year we experienced 6 bomb threats in our school district, 12 assaults and other acts of violence. We knew this problem existed” he said.
According to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, one in 17 people in America lives with a serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder. About one in 10 children live with a serious mental disorder. From 2009 to 2011, massive cuts to non-Medicaid state mental health spending totaled nearly $1.6 billion dollars. Since 2011, Rahm Emmanuel famously shuttered 16 community mental health clinics in Chicago and state budgets have been cut further for mental health services.
“We only focus on mental illness when high visibility tragedies like Texas, New York, Tucson or Virginia Tech occur. But, less visible tragedies take place everyday in our families and communities—suicides, homelessness, arrests, incarceration, school drop-out and more,” he continued.
According to NAMI, the average delay between symptom onset of a mental health condition and treatment is 11 years. That means if someone begins experiencing major depression at 14, they are unlikely to receive help until age 25. For a young person, that means suffering for almost half of your entire life before getting the help you need. For many, that means the possibility of treatment comes far too late. “We need to wake up and restore the cuts that were senselessly made to mental health, both in private and public programs. As the old saying goes, pay me now or pay me more later. We are clearly paying the price for these past cuts in our children’s blood. That’s a price that is just too high”, he declared.
Cruz Calls for Full Re-Funding of Mental Health