Facts and Statistics

Mental Illness Funding: $1.54 Billion dollars spent for 47.6 Million people with mental illness — $ 32.35 per person  (Requested funding divided by reported people with a mental illness  (SAMSHA) (NIMH FY22 )

Cancer Funding:
$6.1 Billion dollars for 5.1 Million people with cancer — $1196  per person   (National Cancer Institute funding divided by US cancer statistics data.

How is This Equitable ???

Asthma Funding: $313 Million dollars spent – 10,753 asthma deaths — FY 2019 (NIH) (5 times more funding for asthma than suicide.)  

Suicide  Prevention Funding: $60 Million dollars spent – 47, 612 suicide deaths — FY 2019  (NIH) (Suicide mortality over 4 x mortality of asthma.)

How is This Equitable ??? 

                         

 CURRENT SHORT-TERM SOLUTIONS  –  QUESTIONABLE EFFECTIVENESS  

Medications That Increase the Risk of Suicidality:

  • Antidepressants – increase suicidal thinking and behavior in children and teens.   (FDA)  (1) * 
  • Rate of suicidal thoughts or behavior doubled in taking SSRIs vs. placebo patients (FDA) (1)
  • 50 % of all suicides- Depression present (American Association of Suicidology, 2014) 

Behavioral Statistics : 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: sessions usually 50 minutes once a week, cost $100 -$200.   (2)*
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy: time consuming – Individual, group, and phone sessions. Cost ranges $150 and $300 per week.  May be difficult to receive Insurance coverage. (2)*

Current Costs to Society: 

  • $225 billion spent in 2019 on current mental health treatment & services  (Open Minds)  (3*)
  • Suicide, suicide attempts cost US over $70B per year in lifetime medical & work loss costs. (CDC)
  • Estimated that 115 people exposed to a single suicide, with one in five reporting that this experience had a devastating impact or caused a major life disruption. (NIMH, 2016 study)
  • Suicide – 2nd leading cause of death 10-14  and 25-34  year-olds.   Injury –  Leading cause of death  (2020)  CDC  (8)*

                                                                       

LONG-TERM PROBLEMS DESERVE LONG-TERM  SOLUTIONS  

Let’s get to the ROOT of the problem. Genetics & Epigenetics are the ROOT.

Three Types of Prevention:             “Unrecognized by Most Policy Makers & Economists” 

  • Primary prevention – preventing a disease or problem in the first place. 
  • Secondary prevention – preventing progression or impact of an existing disease.
  • Tertiary prevention – softening the impact a disease may have on a person’s life.                

Genetic Studies:  

  • Studies of attempting or completing suicide 10 x higher in relatives who completed suicide (4)*
  • Estimated heritability of suicidal behavior ranges from 30 – 55 % in twin studies.   (NIH ) (5)*
  • Studies show there are genetic links to many mental disorders.  (NIMH) (6)*
  • Suicide deaths – 90% had diagnosable & possibly preventable mental health conditions (AFSP)(7)*

                   

What if we could detect serious mental health conditions early on with Simple Blood Tests??? 

Think of the difference this would make for our future generations!

‘Early Detection’ provides the opportunity to utilize all 3 prevention types to reduce the risk for mental health conditions developing into severe mental illness.

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Benefits to All Society: Higher productivity, lower treatment costs, less suffering & premature mortality, more cohesive families, happier, better adjusted, more successful young people.                

How effective are our current efforts in treating mental health conditions???

Graphs Source Sites:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/252393/total-us-expenditure-for-mental-health-services/ https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/abn-abn0000410.pdf https://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/written-materials/2022/05/31/reducing-the-economic-burden-of-unmet-mental-health-needs/

Sources: