In the United States there are over 900 deaths every day related to mental illness and drug addiction including suicides, homicides and overdoses. There is a growing emphasis on mental health reform to address this and to provide needed funding for prevention and treatment of mental health issues.

Mental disorders top the list of the most costly health conditions to treat and accounted for over $200 billion of spending in 2013 – this is much more than is spent on diseases such as heart disease and cancer, for example. Legislators have become increasingly concerned with the costs of housing thousands of people suffering from mental illness in jail and the prison system as well as their impact on the emergency departments of hospital systems.

Policy changes are needed to address the problem; research shows that early intervention and treatment for sufferers can significantly improve the outcomes for people with mental illness.