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Where Do Your Taxes Go? 


Funding Cuts 
  • $63 million from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2015 


  •  $41 million from SAMHSA's national and regional substance abuse programs proposed for 2016 


  • $144 million from the Center of Mental Health Services in FY 2009 followed by $9.2 million cut in FY 2015


  • Proposed $40 million reduction from HUD section 811 program for housing for those with disabilities (FY 2014)


  • $80 million reduction in 2013 from funding for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)


  • $1.6 billion cut from state mental health agency budgets for mental health services between FY2009-12


  • Loss of $70 billion in potential profit that those with untreated mental illnesses could contribute to the economy





Government Spending


  • $21 million resodding the National Mall in Washington DC in 2009


  • $2.5 million for competitive potato breeding research in 2010


  • $1.8 million for swine odor management in 2011


  • $1 billion to destroy $16 billion of ammunition in 2014



What Does This Mean? 


These are only a few examples of the many budget cuts and earmark legislation passed every year. While advocacy organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) have helped bring mental health and stigma to the attention of lawmakers, there is still a long way to go before research yields a complete understanding of these illnesses, their causes, and effective treatments. Additionally, many communities lack resources to help those in need locally and most of the funding communities are awarded can only be used for educational purposes and outreach - little to none is available to fund individuals and their families. Taking into account the cost of physicians, social workers, hospital beds, medication, rehabilitative services, and daily life essentials, it is no wonder that many families struggle after a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness. Unfortuantely, many with mental illnesses are not stable enough to work to be able to afford the cost of their care. As caregivers, this puts significant stress on family members as they try to cope with abnormal behaviors and symptoms caused by the illness as well as the extra financial expenditures. While some may be able to find assistance through the social security system, many of the ill find themselves struggling to make ends meet or homeless and deserted by a family who was overwhelmed and helpless . A major flaw exists in today's mental health system as it leaves these potentially profitable constituents behind.

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