96-H 9022

Passed in House

Apr. 24, 1996.


WHEREAS, In 1955, three-quarter of the 1.7 million episodes of treatment for mental illness took place in inpatient settings, with nearly half of all psychiatric services provided in state and county psychiatric hospitals. By 1975, this national trend had seriously reversed itself with community mental health care services accounting for almost three-quarters of the 6.9 million episodes of treatment. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 73% of mental health care cases are being handled on an outpatient basis with only 27% of patients requiring institutional care; and

WHEREAS, This year along in Rhode Island, over 12,000 adults and 4,000 children will be receiving mental health services in their communities; and

WHEREAS, Mental illnesses and behavioral disorders are a combination of neurobiological disorders, as well as nervous and psychological ailments which can include: schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorders, bipolar disorder (manic depression), major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorders, borderline personality disorders, autism, pervasive developmental disorders, Tourette's Syndrome, attention deficit disorder, and addiction disorders; and

WHEREAS, Mental illnesses and behavioral disorders cause disturbances in thinking, feeling or relating, and result in a substantially reduced capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of everyday life. These illnesses and disorders do not discriminate. They strike men and women in equal proportion, devastating the lives of people of all ages, races, ethnic groups and socio-economic classes; and

WHEREAS, Almost half (48%) of all Americans between the ages of 15 and 54 have a lifetime history of at least one mental or behavioral disorder including: 20 million people who experience phobias; nearly 4 million who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder; 2 million with manic-depressive illness; over 9 million sufering from major depression; 2.4 million afflicted with panic disorders; and, 2 million people who suffer from schizophrenia; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations joins the state's mental health care professionals in expressing its deep and abiding concern for all Rhode Islanders plagued with mental illnesses and behavioral disorders by declaring its hope that all citizens will take the time to become better aware of the ramifications of this significant social problem. To help in this effort to educate the public, this House hereby proclaims April 24, 1996 to be "Mental Health Advocacy Day"; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Rhode Island Coalition for Mental Health.

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