More than 43 million people nationwide are living with mental illness, and nearly half go without treatment. One out of every five adults in the U.S. experience some form of mental illness in any given year, and one out every 20 adults experience a serious mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. People with mental illness are twice as likely to be poor and uninsured as compared to the general population.
Responding to this challenge, AmeriCares will expand access to care for low-income patients living with mental illness by donating medication to community mental health centers across the U.S. through its new Mental Health Initiative.
AmeriCares will become a new resource for nonprofit health centers serving 8 million low-income, uninsured and underinsured patients with mental health needs. The goal is to support 175 community mental health centers over the next three years with at least $40 million worth of high-quality psychiatric medicine to treat depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, as well as primary care medicines for centers with integrated health programs.
The program will begin with community health centers in 10 states:
The Mental Health Initiative is an extension of AmeriCares U.S. Program which supports more than 800 free clinics and community health centers nationwide with free medicine, medical supplies and capacity-building programs. AmeriCares is the nation’s largest provider of donated medical aid to the U.S. health care safety net, last year delivering $117 million in aid to a network of clinics and health centers serving 5 million patients in need.
— AmeriCares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis
“Our targeted donations will improve the quality of care, expand treatment options and reduce costs for patients. Most of all, it will ensure people living with mental illness get the medication they need and not just a prescription they can’t afford to fill.”