Few People With Serious Mental Illnesses In Supported Housing, Employment Programs

In its continuing “The Cost of Not Caring” series, USA Today (12/23, Szabo) reports in a 2,700-word article that “according to the National Institute of Mental Health, neglect of Americans with serious mental illness costs the nation $444 billion a year – mostly from lost earnings – and consigns millions to lives of suffering, addiction, homelessness or incarceration.”

However, research suggests that “supported housing, which provides a variety of services beyond low-cost apartments, not only reduces homelessness, but also helps participants spend less time in shelters, hospitals and jail.” In addition, “supported employment programs, which provide one-on-one help to people with serious mental illness, have been proved effective in 20 high-quality studies,” in some cases even tripling the rate of employment of people challenged by severe psychiatric illnesses.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency has found, however, that just two percent of people in US public mental health systems are getting either of these services.

Related Links:

— “Solutions to woes of mentally ill exist but aren’t used,” Liz Szabo, USA Today, December 22, 2014.

Posted in In The News.