League of Women Voters to host public talks on mental health
by Ethan Orenstein
Aug 21, 2013 | 973 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To raise awareness and open a discussion about San Diego County’s mental healthcare system, the League of Women Voters of San Diego (LWVSD) will host a discussion on the topic during its Sept. 12 meeting at the Hervey/Point Loma Branch Library at 10:30 a.m.

Jeanne Brown, co-director of LWVSD, said violent crimes committed by mentally unstable perpetrators have drawn attention to the shortcomings of the country’s mental-health system. But Brown said statistics show people who are mentally ill are more likely to be victims of crime.

Nancy Witt, LWVSD unit co-chairwoman, said the discussion will explore the inadequacies of the national mental-health system and what can be done to improve San Diego County’s system. LWVSD members will also talk about what Laura’s Law is and the connections between mental illness, alcohol and drug use, and violence.

The LWVSD’s position on mental healthcare supports adequate, steady funding for a variety of programs and services for the mentally ill, including treatment centers, outreach programs, shelters and training for emergency personnel who respond to emergencies involving people with mental illness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 17 percent of adults in the U.S. are estimated to have optimal mental health. It said about 50 percent of adults will develop some form of mental illness during their life. In its report, the CDC concluded that mental illness is a major public-health issue. Mental illness has a major economic impact and is associated with medical conditions like heart disease and obesity.

The event is designed to raise awareness so people can make informed decisions about mental healthcare.

For information on mental health, visit www.cdc.gov.mental health. For information about the LWVSD, visit sdcilo.ca.lwvnet.org.

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