More than 5 million Americans suffer from some form of mental illness and one in seventeen has a severe and persistent disorder. The need for care is growing, yet there are increased challenges in diagnosing and treating those with mental health problems. One of the many issues is diminishing funding for those who need help the most.
Left to Right: William K. Gordon, Dennis McCuistion, Sharon DeBlanc, Matt Roberts & Sherry Cusumano
Join host, Dennis McCuistion, and guests:
- William K. Gordon III, PhD: Clinical Psychologist,
Director of Psychological Services, Fair Hill School
- Matt Roberts: President, Mental Health America of Greater Dallas
- Sharon DeBlanc: President, Collin County Affiliate,
National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Sherry Cusumano RN, MS, LCDC: Executive Director, Communication Education and Clinical Development Green Oaks,
President NAMI Dallas
Another concern regarding mental illness and health is the increased number of labels for “new” diagnoses. The American Psychological Association’s about to be released 5th version of diagnostic terms now itemizes 300 diagnoses to contend with, not all of which are supported by hard data. Older diagnoses are becoming less stringent as new ones take precedence. The controversy intimates that pharmaceuticals are behind the growing numbers of diagnoses.
Mental illness is a neurological brain disorder. It is about brain chemistry and biochemical brain disorder, sometimes with a genetic and a psycho-social component. Yet it still has a stigma and remains an illness we don’t openly talk about, even though one in four families has a loved one with a mental illness problem of some kind and some severity. The stigma hurts research and efforts toward wellness. While there are many support groups there are still nowhere near enough groups to tackle the problem. Stigmas lead to finger pointing at those with mental illness as being potentially violent. Yet the average person with a mental illness is more likely to have a crime committed against him or her than to commit a crime. Shooting tragedies and gun lobbying exacerbate the problem.
More education and support is needed as many states are cutting back on their funding, care and community outreach.
Join us as we continue talking about things that matter… with people who care.
Niki Nicastro McCuistion, CSP
Business/ nonprofit consultant in strategy, leadership and organizational development from customer service to governance.