The mental health state of US faces serious challenges as mentally ill people have nowhere to go. They rarely get sympathy from people around them and often land up on streets, county jails or emergency rooms. As Tim Murphy, a child psychologist puts it "We have replaced the hospital bed with the jail cell, the homeless shelter, and the coffin". He has been putting in efforts to remodel the mental health system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38,000 Americans every year, lose their lives due to suicide- surprisingly more than car accidents, prostate cancer or homicide. Out of which 90% of suicides are related to mental illness as revealed by Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
A study in 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that 40% of adults who suffer from a severe mental illness like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia received absolutely no treatment in the previous year.
States that want to save money have done away from community mental health services meant to keep people healthy and the hospital care that helps people in crisis. States also have reduced hospital beds over the decades. From the year 2009 to 2012 states have cut $5 billion in mental health services, as mentioned by Robert Glover, executive director of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors.
Insel mentions that mental illness costs the country $444 billion a year. But, just one-third of this amount is directed to mental care. Society then suffers due to disability payments and lost productivity. But, early intervention can prevent the deteriorating condition of mentally ill patients.