September 26, 2003

NAMI San Diego Upholds the Goals & Recommendations of New Freedom Commission on Mental Health and Take’s Action

Advocates for better mental health care in San Diego are working together with hundreds of thousands of Americans during Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 5-11, to change the failing mental health care system, according to Karen Gurneck, president of NAMI San Diego, an affiliate of NAMI, The Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness.

“President Bush’s New Freedom Commission issued a national report documenting a mental health system in shambles and calling, not for mending and patching, but a transformed system nationwide,” said Gurneck “We’re planning on doing our part to get the message out and see the care available for people with brain disorders that Americans have for all other biological disorders.”

Bettie Reinhardt, executive director of NAMI San Diego says, “NAMI San Diego is taking action and we want the community to know what NAMI is doing to promote successful community integration for people with serious mental illnesses.” The six goals recommended by the New Freedom Report are as follows:

Suicide Prevention — Mental Health is Essential to Health: Every individual, family and community will understand that mental health is an essential part of overall health.

Listening — Eliminate Disparities in Mental Healthcare: promote well-being for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, language, place of residence, or age and ensure equity of access, delivery of services, and improvement of outcomes for all communities.

Education — “Peer-to-Peer” and “Family-to-Family”: NAMI San Diego has ongoing Consumer/Family Centered programs, where consumers and families can get the necessary information and the opportunity to exercise choice over the care decisions that affect them.

Depression Screening — On October 9th various screening sites will be set up across San Diego. Every individual will have the opportunity for early and appropriate mental health screening, assessment, and treatment. Call NAMI San Diego 1-800-523-5933 for the locations nearest you.

Treatment Access — Adults with serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances will have ready access to the best treatments, services and supports leading to recovery and cure.

The System — The mental health system will develop and expand its information infrastructure to better inform consumers and policymakers on available and recommended services, treatments and system improvements.

For more information on activities, education, support or to request a speaker for your organization, call NAMI San Diego at 1-800-523-5933.

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