People With Mental Illness Need a Stonewall Inn: Only if they come out of the closet can we address the mental health care crisis

The Benny Fund

“We are responsible for the lack of progress made in terms of diagnosing and treating mental illness because we’ve successfully hidden the magnitude of the problem. Why should Congress or state legislatures allocate funds to fix a problem that flies under the radar?

Today, there are more people in our country whose lives have been touched by mental illness than not. What’s more, mental illness is by far the most prevalent disease in the United States, with an estimated 78 million Americans suffering from a diagnosable mental illness. This is greater than the number of Americans who suffer from cancer (13 million), diabetes (19 million) and heart disease (27 million) combined.

Yet, even now, the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 60 percent of people who have experience with mental illness keep their experiences secret. People with mental illnesses still hide, and their families still hide, too.”

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