R 201
99-S 844
Enacted 5/19/99

J O I N T   R E S O L U T I O N


Introduced By: Senators Cicilline J., Perry, Kelly, Enos and Parella

Date Introduced : March 2, 1999

WHEREAS, Mental disorders are at once devastating and debilitating to individuals and their loved ones, striking at any point; and

WHEREAS, Mental disorders have been prevalent throughout history, but continue to be one of the least understood and accepted of all ailments or illnesses; and

WHEREAS, Research studies explain that people tend not to seek treatment for mental disorders for a wide range of reasons, such as:

(a) lack of awareness that their symptoms are indicative of a mental disorder;

(b) lack of conviction that treatment will be effective and efficacious;

(c) lack of capacity to pay for services through insurance or other means;

(d) fear that the stigma of being known as a person receiving treatment will result in a range of rejections, ridicule, and possible loss of associations and employment; and

(e) fear that others will consider them as being dangerous and violent; and

WHEREAS, The incidence of mental disorders exacts a costly toll on the individual, family, and friends, and on society as a whole when untreated; and

WHEREAS, Mental health care is too often managed and regulated quite differently from physical health care in both the public and private health care insurance systems; and

WHEREAS, The costs of mental health services have remained relatively constant for the last 25 years, ranging from nine to eleven percent for direct treatment costs according to the National Advisory Mental Health Council; and

WHEREAS, Significant progress has been made within the last twenty years, particularly in the area of brain research, in determining the causes and best treatments for mental illnesses; and

WHEREAS, A comprehensive, flexible and managed mental health system of care and treatment represents the most efficient and effective approach and policy to address the problem of mental illness; and

WHEREAS, There is every god reason to be hopeful - consistent with the state's motto of "Hope" - because individuals with mental illness are now progressing in the recovery model of care and treatment; and

WHEREAS, The State of Rhode Island has a long and proud tradition of attending to and assisting the most needy, especially those who suffer from illnesses and diseases;


RESOLVED, That this General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations does hereby proclaim May 1999 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 health care benefits, and the opportunities to provide non-discriminatory comprehensive mental health care coverage to all people, and the responsibility to do what is necessary to eradicate the stigma of mental illness and the attendant barriers that persons with mental illness encounter, recognizing in the process their rights and privileges as human beings and as 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, National alliance for the Mentally Ill of Rhode Island, the Mental Health Consumer Advocates of R.I., and the Manic Depressive and Depressive Association of R.I. and to the directors of the Department of Mental Health, Retardation, and Hospitals; Children, Youth, Families; Human Services; Health; Corrections; Elderly Affairs; and Elementary and Secondary Education.

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