While mental health can be described as "our emotional, psychological, and social well-being," mental illness "can affect your thinking, mood, and behavior."
Mental health problems can wreak havoc, not only with a person's life, but also with the lives of his or her near and dear ones.
Recognizing this, a bipartisan Senate committee has announced that it is working out ways to address the mental health crisis in the United States. Senate health committee members announced on March 7 that they are working on the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016.
"One in five adults in this country suffers from a mental illness, and nearly 60 percent aren't receiving the treatment they need. This bill will help address this crisis by ensuring our federal programs and policies incorporate proven, scientific approaches to improve care for patients," said Senate Health Committee Chairman Alexander (R-Tenn.).
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in the year 2014 "there were an estimated 43.6 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with AMI in the past year. This number represented 18.1% of all U.S. adults."
"I hear far too often from families in my home state of Washington and across the country about loved ones who are unable to get mental health care they desperately need, with tragic consequences. Our mental health system has been broken for far too long, and I'm pleased that Democrats and Republicans were able to break through the gridlock and agree on policies to help deliver quality, integrated care to our neighbors, friends, and loved ones who struggle with mental illness," said Senate Health Committee ranking member Murray (D-Wash).
"Our mental health system is broken. The Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 begins to fix it. We have all seen a promising life destroyed by untreated mental illness. Destroying not just the person, but also their family," said Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), stressing the requirement for such a bill.
"Our mental health care system is failing those who need it most. Individuals struggling with mental illness may go years without receiving treatment, ultimately suffering in isolation, or being cast aside and abandoned by the very system they should be relying on. Too many Americans with serious mental illness slip through the cracks, and Congress must act to stop it," said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).