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Office of Neuroscience Research > WUSTL Neuroscience News > WashU Expert: 21st Century Cures Act good start, should focus more on immediate needs

WashU Expert: 21st Century Cures Act good start, should focus more on immediate needs



From the WUSTL Newsroom...

The newly passed 21st Century Cures Act  awaiting President Obama’s signature will provide necessary funding to help those with mental illnesses, but a mental health expert at Washington University in St. Louis says it should focus more on mental health outcomes of those suffering right now.

“Over 40 million Americans suffer from a mental health condition at any given time,” said Ryan Lindsay, associate professor of practice and chair of the mental health concentration at the Brown School.

“The impact of untreated and unrecognized mental health conditions is staggering,” he continued. “More importantly,  less than half of people with a diagnosable mental health condition receive treatment. The consequence to this lack of treatment seeking and access leads to significant social and economic problems. So, in that regard, this bill is a huge step forward.”

The sweeping mental health legislation, passed this week by a bipartisan U.S. Senate and Congress, provides needed resources to various areas that are “all critically important to addressing the impact of severe mental illness,” Lindsay added. Those areas include: medical models of care; biomedical treatment developments; some of the most effective interventions, such as Assertive Community Treatment, for individuals with severe mental illness; and early intervention strategies to help lower the disease burden of illnesses such as schizophrenia.

For the complete article, click here.