Many public mental health systems are unable to provide even the most basic mental health services, much less the support that could help people with psychiatric disabilities become full members of their communities, the National Council on Disability, Washington, said in a report released today. The council, an independent federal agency charged with recommending to Congress and the president how to address issues affecting the disabled, called for federal assistance in carrying out a fundamental reform of the nation's mental healthcare system. Children and adults whose mental health needs aren't met by public health systems early on are much more likely to become dependent on the systems later in life. "Visionary leadership, adequate funding and expansion of proven models" are needed to reform state systems that have been burdened with "ineffective service-delivery programs and stagnant bureaucracies," the council said in its report. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Public mental health system fails patients: report
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