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 )
$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 ???
$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)
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.
- 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 with simple blood tests ???
‘Early Detection’ would provide the opportunity to utilize all 3 prevention types to reduce the risk for mental health conditions developing into severe mental illness.
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???
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/