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The Well-Being of our Nation: An Inter-Generational Vision of Effective Mental Health Services and Supports

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September 16, 2002


At a time when more is known about mental illnesses than at any other time in history and just three years after the U.S. Supreme Court held that unnecessary institutionalization violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, public mental health systems find themselves in crisis, unable to provide even the most basic mental health services and supports to help people with psychiatric disabilities become full members of the communities in which they live.

This report examines some of the root causes of the crisis in mental health, and seeks to “connect the dots” concerning the dysfunction of a number of public systems that are charged with providing mental health services and supports for children, youth, adults and seniors who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses.

One of the most significant findings of this report is that children and youth who experience dysfunction at the hands of mental health and educational systems are much more likely to become dependent on failing systems that are supposed to serve adults. In parallel fashion, adults whose mental health service and support needs are not fulfilled are very likely to become seniors who are dependent on failing public systems of care.

An official website of the National Council on Disability