ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Statement of David L. Shern, Ph.D, interim president and CEO of Mental Health America:
"We were stunned and saddened by the news of the tragic events involving R. Creigh Deeds. We join citizens around the state and the country in extending our support to the Deeds family and our prayers for a full recovery. Our thoughts are with them.
"We do not yet know all the facts and believe we should not rush to judgment.
"We do know that the mental health system is fragmented and reductions in public mental spending have resulted in severe shortages of services, including housing and community-based services. This has placed even greater demands on programs that provide crisis services. But we don't know to what extent these difficulties played a role in this specific situation.
"After years of discrimination toward people with mental health conditions, which often denied care, we have made important progress that has removed barriers and expanded and equalized insurance coverage. These changes will greatly improve access to care and offer a broad range of services that are critical to providing early and effective care, which we know can help people recover and reduce overall societal and medical costs. Nevertheless, we still have more steps to take to ensure we address mental health with the same degree of attention as other health conditions.
"As we begin to learn more information about this tragedy, we will be able to offer additional perspective and recommendations."
Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net), founded in 1909, is the nation's leading community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our 240 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and Delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.
SOURCE Mental Health America