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September 15, 2005
NAMI Calls for FEMA to Not Ignore Mental Illness
Read more... Government & Schizophrenia
After Hurricane Katrina many of those with a mental illness, such as schizophrenia, were left without ways to access their medication or therapy. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has recently called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to also help those suffering from mental illness.
ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 14 The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to broaden its Crisis Counseling Program to include treatment and services for people with serious mental illnesses.
Before Hurricane Katrina, an estimated 500,000 Americans with serious mental illness lived in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Less conservative estimates put the figure closer to 1 million. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia.
After Hurricane Katrina, people in the Gulf region include those with pre- existing conditions and those who because of heredity or other predisposition face the onset of serious mental illness triggered by stress, loss, disconnections or other trauma from the disaster.
"This is not a temporary, short-term mental health problem," Fitzpatrick said. "Mental illness is a serious, long-term, life-threatening, chronic condition. The best hope for recovery lies in early treatment and services."
Before Hurricane Katrina, President Bush's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health called the nation's mental healthcare system a fragmented "system in shambles."
"Today the system in the region affected by the hurricane is in virtual collapse. The time for focused action is now," Fitzpatrick said.
You can access the FEMA site here.
Posted by christine at September 15, 2005 02:02 PM
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