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 ??? 



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)



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 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???

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/