R 293
97-S 67
Approved May 14, 1997

J O I N T   R E S O L U T I O N


WHEREAS, Mental disorders, devastating to the lives of those who suffer from them, are prevalent throughout our society and can strike at any point during a person's lifetime; and

WHEREAS, Several research studies presented by the National Institute of Mental Health or published by the American Sociological Review suggest many reasons why people do not seek treatment for mental disorders. People:

are not aware that their symptoms are those of a mental disorder;

are not aware or are not convinced that effective treatments are available;

lack insurance coverage or are afraid to use it for mental disorders;

fear the stigma of being seen as a mental patient by employers, co-workers, family and friends; or,

are afraid that other people will think less of them or view them as dangerous; and

WHEREAS, The incidence of mental disorders are very costly both to the individual victim and to society as a whole; and

WHEREAS, Mental healthcare is treated differently from physical healthcare in both public and private healthcare insurance systems; and

WHEREAS, The costs of mental healthcare services have remained relatively constant over the last 20 years, ranging from nine percent to eleven percent for direct treatment costs according to the National Advisory Mental Health Council; and

WHEREAS, Many private insurance programs continue to discriminate against individuals who suffer from mental illness; and

WHEREAS, Significant progress has been made within the last ten years in research into the causes and treatments of mental illness, and many such illnesses are now treatable; and

WHEREAS, A comprehensive, flexible and managed mental health benefit is the most effective and cost-efficient method of treating people with severe mental illness; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations does hereby proclaim May, 1997 to be MENTAL HEALTH MONTH IN RHODE ISLAND. This General Assembly also calls upon all citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools in the state to vigorously promote awareness of the causes of mental illness, the effective treatments for mental illness, the negative impact of discriminatory mental health coverage, the cost-effectiveness of managed, comprehensive and flexible mental healthcare benefits and the opportunities to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive mental healthcare coverage to all citizens; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the directors of the Rhode Island Council of Community Mental Health Centers, Mental Health Association of Rhode Island, Alliance of Mentally Ill of Rhode Island and Coalition of Consumer Self Advocates.

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