ISMICC Report to Congress 2017
Good, morning. Good. Morning and welcome to the ethnic the interdepartmental serious, mental illness Coordinating, Committee this. Is the 2017. Report, to Congress. And this is our press conference well, at the beginning I would like everyone to please turn off your cell phone or mute it so we don't get disrupted. By. That kind of activity. I'm, dr. Anita Everett the chief medical officer at Samsa, the seven Sbisa mental health services administration where, I have the privilege of working with the Department of Health and Human Services first, assistant, secretary, for mental, health and substance use the. Chair of our Ismet committee dr. Eleanor McCann scans doctormick. Kansas physician brings a new level of authority experience. And expertise, to the coordination, of efforts at HHS, to address the needs of people with serious mental illness or SMI, and children. And youth with serious, emotional disturbances. Or sed, and their, families, assistants. Assistant, secretary McCants katz obtained her PhD from Yale University with. The specialty and infectious disease epidemiology. And is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School, of Medicine. She. Is board certified in, general psychiatry. And in addiction psychiatry. She's, a distinguished, fellow of the American Academy of dicks of addiction psychiatry, with more than 25 years as a clinician teacher. And clinical, researcher. Most. Recently, she served as a chief medical officer for the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Health, developmental. Disabilities, and hospitals and as the chief medical officer for the Eleanor Slater. State, Hospital System which, is Rhode Island state resource for patients with the most serious mental illnesses and medical. Illnesses requiring long-term inpatient, care, she. Was also professor, of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. Prior. To that she served as a first, chief medical officer for the substance abuse and mental health services administration Samsa. Prior. To coming to Samsa, she served at the University, of California, San Francisco as a professor of psychiatry as the, medical director for California, Department of alcohol and drug programs and, is, the medical director of SAMHSA's clinical, support systems for buprenorphine.
Dr.. McCants Katz has published extensively in, the areas of clinical pharmacology. Medications, development, for substance use disorders, drug, drug interactions addiction, psychiatry, and treatment, of HIV infection, in drug, users she has been a national leader and addressed the over prescribing of opioid, analgesics, and in providing consultation on management of patients with chronic pain and opioid, overuse please. Join me in welcoming assistant, secretary, mcduck, term accounts Katz. Thank. You dr. Everett good. Morning everyone and thank you for joining us today, I share. The podium this morning with distinguished, guests, who will be introduced to you as we proceed, thank. You for joining me secretary, Hagen Mary. Gilbert, II and Pete Earley the, interdepartmental, serious. Mental illness Coordinating, Committee which we call is, m'q was. Established, by the 21st, century cures act to improve federal coordination. Of efforts that address the pressing needs of adults with serious mental illness, and children. In youth with serious emotional disturbances. Individuals. With these conditions too often, lack access to, evidence-based. Treatment. And supports, and experience. High rates of suicide. Unemployment. Homelessness. Criminal. Justice involvement and other, negative outcomes. The. Is Mikkel, dits first meeting, on August 31st, 2017. Right. Here in this building. A central. Charge of the is m'q was to submit a report to Congress no. Later than one year after the. Enactment, of the 21st, century cures Act which, was signed into law in December 2016, and I'm happy to tell you that we have met that deadline, today. As a result of an incredible, effort and much hard work we're. Pleased to release the 2017. Is Mik report to Congress which offers, an initial assessment of the current needs of Americans, with serious mental illness, and serious. Emotional disturbance. The. Report contains four chapters, the, fourth and final chapter, includes the 45 recommendations. That, were based on the need needs. For service improvements. That were identified. By, the is McNown, federal, members the, 45, recommendations. Were, organized, into five focus, areas and I'll. Walk you through those briefly, in just a few minutes at. This time it's, my privilege and honor to introduce active, acting. HHS. Secretary, Eric, Harkin who, will share with you his thoughts on the, report and its significance. Eric. D Harkin, was sworn into office as, deputy deputy secretary. On October, 6th 2017. And was, appointed, as Acting Secretary of, the US Department of, Health and Human Services, on October. 10th by, President, Trump. Previously. Mr. Harkin was an attorney most recently, a shareholder. In Greenberg, Traurig Chicago. Office in the, health and FDA business, department, where, he focused his practice, on transactions. Health care regulations. And government relations he. Represented, investors, companies, and individuals, and health care investments, and issues. Across the entire sector from. 2003. To 2007. Mr. Harkin served at HHS, in a variety of capacities. Ultimately. Holding, the position of acting deputy secretary. During. His tenure at HHS, mr. Harkin also, served as the department's, regulatory, policy, officer, overseeing. The development and approval of all, HHS. CMS. And, FDA, regulations. And significant, guidances, prior. To this role he served as HHS deputy. General counsel more. Recently, he was tapped by Governor Bruce rauner in Illinois to serve during, transition. As the lead co-chair, for Governor rauner's health care and human services committee.
During. His time in Illinois mr., Hagen taught at Loyola. Law School, in Chicago focusing. On administrative. Law and health care regulations. He, was a member of the, US government, team at the inaugural, us-china. Strategic, Economic. Dialogue in, Beijing. In 2006. And 2007. Worked. With the State Department's. Bureau of arms, control to, advance biosecurity, and, developing, nations and, initiated. And led the HHS, team that, developed, the first responses. To international, food safety and import, issues, in, 2007. He, received his BA cum laude from Harvard University, and, his, JD from Columbia, University Law. School where. He was senior, editor of the Columbia Law Review mr.. Horgan also received a certificate, in international, law from, the Parker School of foreign and comparative, law at Columbia University. Before. Returning to Washington mr.. Horrigan lived in the suburbs of Chicago, with his wife and two sons please. Join me in welcoming acting. Secretary Harkin. Thank, you for that introduction doctor, I'd. Like to thank you and your team at Samsa, for all the hard work it's taken to stand up this committee and to, coordinate this first-of-its-kind report. And to put on this event to let the nation know about this important, undertaking I'd. Also like to thank the committee members for. Their hard work in delving into these issues and putting together this report we, discussed that in great detail yesterday. And I really appreciate. That we all do early. On in the Trump administration a, serious, mental illness was identified, as one of our top clinical, priorities, demonstrating. The president's commitment and that of his administration. To address the challenge of serious, mental illness this. Is an issue where our health care and human services, systems, haven't produced the results we need and an, issue where we can take action that will make a real difference for. The health of millions of Americans, and. His remarks to launch the, very first meeting of the is m'q secretary. Price laid out the serious challenge we face and the inadequacy. Of this system, with, three, numbers, ten, million ten. Years, and ten, times I'll. Walk through that there. Are about 10 million Americans according. To our latest numbers, who live with a serious mental illness meaning. One that seriously, impairs one or more major life activities like. Holding down a job or maintaining, relationships, they. Live on average lives, ten years shorter, than other Americans which, is such a tragic, outcome for illnesses that we know how to treat and, ten. Times as many Americans, with serious mental illness are in prison, about. 350,000. Of them as are, in, and psychiatric, treatment, this, represents, a serious, inadequacy. And our healthcare system, and in our policies, that bring about this result, they. Aren't just numbers, they, represent, Americans, and their families who are suffering because, of inadequate policies. And an inadequate, system but. With the formation of the iznik we have the first standing committee to address this topic that's, required to report to Congress and.
We Have the chance to do a deep examination. Of how we improve what we do on this issue and this is our first step, dr.. McCants Katz as noted is the first psychiatrist. To be appointed to run Samsa, just. Kind of surprise him when you think of how long the agency, has been around at this point appointing. Her to chair this committee represents. A new level of authority as noted, and. A, new focus on this in the clinical treatment with. This 2017. Report to Congress, the asmik has taken a hard look at where, we are in this fight and the non-federal members have, made initial recommendations. For pursuing change, which were encouraged by will. Use this report and our expertise, here at the department, and the very best science we have to. Look at ways to improve the policies, and practices that, are letting down so many of our fellow Americans. This. Is a complicated challenge so. The report recommends strategies, that go well beyond, the parts of this department that have traditionally dealt, with mental illness and reaches. Across the federal government already. We're, working with our colleagues at the Department of Justice because, we need to ensure that people with serious mental illness, are connected. With treatment, not put behind bars we. See this should, be primarily, a public health issue not a public safety issue. We're. Also working with our colleagues at the Department of Housing and Urban Development because. Too many people with serious mental illness, end up living on the streets, the. Department of Labor is, a critical, partner too because, finding work is an important, piece of helping people with serious mental illness leave, healthy, independent lives and we in the trump administration are, very, devoted to helping, find employment for all Americans, the. Department's, of Veterans Affairs defense, and education, as well as the Social Security Administration. Also have roles to play in achieving. The goal this committee has and that we have at HHS. Building, a system where Americans, with serious mental illness and their families, get the help that they need we. In the federal government know that we cannot do all of this on our own our, work has to be informed, and strengthened, by the participation, of non-federal, members of the is m'q including, national experts, on health care research mental. Health providers, advocates and, people, with serious mental illness and their families, and, you'll hear from some of these partners today their. Firsthand encounters, with the mental health system and their work on the frontlines in their, personal lives and from, their professional. Experience, are, invaluable they've, informed this committee and they're going to inform our work going forward dr.. McCants Katz is going to talk more about the specific, recommendations from, the non-federal, members of the is m'q as she. Does it, will become abundantly clear to you that we have a huge challenge ahead of us a needed, change will, not come easily or quickly. So. Let's go back to those 10 10 10 numbers we, cannot be content with a system, that is inadequate to the meet to the needs of many of the 10 million Americans, with, serious mental illness a system. That fails to provide them with lives as long and as, full as the rest of us enjoy and, a system that imprisons, them much, so much more often than heals. Them with. The ongoing work of this committee we, can take a step forward towards, a future where our country is healing and helping. Those 10 million Americans and, their, families so thank, you all for your attention to this effort and, I'll now hand it back to dr. McCain's cats. So. I'm gonna take a few minutes to talk to you about the work that has been done by the interdepartmental. Serious. Mental illness Coordinating, Committee what. I will refer. To repeatedly, as is, m'q and talk, about the report, that went to Congress, yesterday. So. This is a report that accomplishes. Several major goals one. Is, to map. Out the state of treatment, and recovery services, for. People living with serious mental, illness and youth, living with serious emotional disturbances. There are recommendations in. That report by, public members, to, improve care and services, to this population, and there. Is a, discussion. Of how we. And the federal government, can do a better job of, making. These services, available. But. First let me just take a couple of minutes to talk about the is m'q this, was a committee, that was authorized, in, the 21st, century cures Act and, started. On in March of this year as a Federal. Advisory Committee there, are ten federal members those ten federal members are the. Components. Of government, that, have a footprint. In providing, services, to the. To. Individuals, with mental disorders. And, there. Are 14, non-federal. Public, members, and you see the, picture of everybody right there now I just want to take a couple of minutes to to, talk about who's, on this committee, in.
Terms Of our non-federal. Public members, because, it is really, just. An amazing. Group, this. This. Group has people. Who, have, lived experience. Family. Members. Researchers. Advocates. Clinicians. We. Have a representative, from law enforcement we. Even have a judge on this committee. And these. Folks are just extraordinary, and, they. Represent, millions, of people across this country who, are stakeholders, in, this, area, and and, dedicated. To improving. Services. To individuals, living with serious mental illness so, a really. Really. Important. Important. Development, in how, we address, serious. Mental illness in this country, is to bring together, public. Members. And. Federal. Agencies, that will do the work of making. These services, available the. Committee, reports, to the Secretary, of Health and Human Services and, it, is chaired, by the assistant, secretary, for mental, health and substance use. So. Let me just take a minute and talk, to you about why why do we need an estimate why why, do we need it why do we need it now because. We have nearly 45. 45. Million, Americans, living. With serious mental illness, in this country, and 25. Percent of them over 10 million adults. With. Serious mental illness. And, that means a mental illness of such a severity, that it impacts. Their daily, life so, these are people who struggle, with symptoms. Of mental illness that can prevent them from living productive, lives, from being able to have satisfying. Relationships. From. Being able to work from being able to support their families, very, impactful. Illnesses, we. Have over, seven million children. And youth with serious. Emotional disturbances. Which, often, go on to be serious mental illnesses, in adulthood, there. Are 2 million people with. Serious mental illness. Incarcerated. In this, country every. Year and, people. With serious mental illness, have higher rates of suicide if, you, are a person living with serious depression, or a psychotic, illness, you, are 25, times more likely to die of suicide than. The general public, people. With serious mental illness, have higher rates of physical, illnesses, and that, translates. Into reduced. Life, expectancy. If you are living with a serious mental illness in this country, you, are. Statistically. More likely to, die 10 years sooner, than the, rest of the population, not affected, by these illnesses so. These are very very serious. Consequences. Of illnesses. That we, can treat and we, can provide recovery, services, for in communities, and that's what this is about. So. We have eight federal departments. That address serious mental illness in their mission and we.
Have Federal. Programs, and partnerships, that will now be informed. By national, experts, on mental health there. Will, be federal, collaboration. To, improve services. To modify. Systems, of care and to, improve the availability and quality of care, the. Non. The non-federal, members the public members will, be working, with us over, time and they. Will give. Us feedback, about how we're doing and what they think we could be doing better and they're the best people to do that because they're out in the communities, and have. Really, their, fingers, on the pulse of what's going on with Americans, living, with serious illnesses. Such, as depression. And, other types of psychotic. Illnesses, and other, serious, mental health conditions, the, goal of what. We're undertaking. Is not just to provide more services No. What. We want is a holistic, approach that, provides, a continuum. Of care that, meets individual. Needs every. Person, will, have a different, set of needs we, need a system, in place that. Is able to assess, those needs and provide. Individualized. Services, and. So. The report to Congress, will. Do three things one it summarizes. Advances, in serious. Mental illness, and serious, emotional disturbance. Treatment. It's. An evaluation of. Federal. Programs and, how. What, effect they have on serious. Mental illness and public, health and then. There is a set of recommendations, from. Our public, members, for, federal actions, to better coordinate, the. Administration. Of mental health services, for individuals living, with these conditions. I'm. Gonna take just a few minutes to talk about the five focus, areas when. You look at the report, you'll see that that, the, that. The public members have given us a, series. Of 45, recommendations. Which, we will be reviewing, within the federal government and, determining. What we can do to, try to address those recommendations, made. To us they, the recommendations. Fall into five major, focus, areas one is to. Strengthen federal. Coordination, to improve care a, second. Is to increase. Access to. Treatment. And recovery services. So that we can better engage people. Living with these conditions a, third. Is about. Recommendations. Related. To treatment and recovery services. Our. Fourth the fourth area is to increase, opportunities. For diversion and improve. Care for people living with serious mental illness, and serious, emotional disturbances. Who are involved in the justice system. Unfortunately. To a large extent, the criminal justice system has become the de facto mental. Institutions. In this country we, need to change that and this, is something, that we can take on through this kind of an initiative, and. The. Fifth area how. Do we pay for it so, we have to develop finance, strategies, to increase availability and, affordability of. Care in. Focus. Area one strengthening, federal coordination, to improve care it's been recommended to us that we improve, our interdepartmental. Coordination. And evaluate. The federal approach to, serving people living, with these conditions, and that, we use. Data, more, effectively, to, inform. Us and to improve, the quality of care and outcomes that our programs. Offer. The. Second area on access, and engagement. Advises. That we, should focus on early identification. Intervention, for youth this, is a very important, area we, know that right now in our country if you have a psychotic disorder, on average, it takes about two years before, you're going to come to medical attention and we. Also know, that the longer it takes you to get to that medical, attention the more likely, it is that you're going to develop a disorder, that could be refractory, to current, ability. To intervene so current medication, treatments, and current psychosocial, services, so we want to intervene early that means we want to we, want to be working with our youth because we know that these very serious, disorders, often start, in adolescence.
And Early adulthood and, so, the the. Public members, have made this a priority for, us crisis. Intervention services, development. Again, people, people, with serious mental illness, who have exacerbations. Of those conditions do not belong in emergency. Departments, I can tell you as a physician who's, worked in the system for many many years that the emergency, department, is not a place for people that are experiencing. Exacerbations. Of mental health conditions, it's not what emergency departments, were set up to do we, need to develop a national system of crisis. Intervention services. And we'll be looking at that very carefully, we, need a continuum. Of care without, patient. Services, as alternatives. To inpatient care why, because, we don't have enough beds in this country, to accommodate, people with. Serious mental health needs but, if we, had a system. Where we had alternatives. And we had community. Interventions. And resources. That people could, benefit. From we, might not need so, many beds but right now I can, tell you that people often, spend long. Periods. Of time before, they get care and when that happens, that's, when. They get involved with the justice system that's. When, they become homeless that's. When they sink into, the. Depths of poverty, we. Can change that we need, to do a reassessment of civil commitment, standards, and processes will be looking, to help our states with that because these are issues, that do reside within the states and we. Have gotten a recommendation, around the use of new technologies to, increase access we don't have enough behavioral, healthcare providers. Every. Chance I get I like to say if you're, somebody who is interested in, mental, health please. Consider, a career in in, behavioral, health you will never be without a job we. We. Must make best use that we can of the existing, providers, we have and that means looking at innovative ways to provide, care such, as telehealth. Which can help to expand. The reach of those providers that we have while, we work, to expand, our workforce, in. Terms. Of treatment and recovery it's. Been recommended, to us that we coordinate specialty. Care for first episode, psychosis and, I'm happy to tell you that we have a program, at Samsa. And that, is a program that we are working to, expand, we, will be advancing. Suicide, prevention strategies. Again, the 21st century cures Act has been very helpful in enabling, us to do more work in these areas, but, we realize there's much more to be done making. Housing, available, for people living, with these conditions is very important. It's very, difficult, to, follow a treatment plan and to recover and to get on with your life if you don't know where you're going to live from day to day so, this is very important, and. We, need to focus on integrated. Services, for, mental and substance use disorders as, well as physical, healthcare and I'm happy to tell you that we have the basis. For, such programs. In our, certified, community behavioral. Health care centers, that, we. Have funded. In eight states as a demonstration. I personally. Believe that this model which is similar to the FQHCs. That, provide physical health care and have been very successful will. Be successful. For our people, living, with serious mental illness and we will be following this very closely and looking, at how we can expand, it in. Terms. Of the justice, system we need to train, first responders. On how, to work with people who. Have serious, mental illness, and serious, emotional disturbances. Very important, we. Already have at, mental. Health courts drug courts. And our, non-federal. Partners our. Public members asked us to sustain, and expand, that. Universal. Screening for mental and substance use disorder, and behavioral, health needs in people. That are incarcerated really. Needs to happen we, know that there are large numbers, of people with, serious mental illness, within the the. Departments. Of Correction, throughout this country and. Less. Than a third of them are getting treatment. We. Also need to reduce barriers that impede access. To treatment, and recovery services, on release so even if you are one of the lucky ones getting, treatment, in the, in the jails or prisons if. You don't have a seamless handoff. To providers. And community. Supports. You, are quite likely to relapse quickly, and end up right back in, the, justice, system so we, need to address that so, that this does not happen to people living with these conditions and, of.
Course We have to be able to finance these. Things so, we need to eliminate discriminatory. Financing, practices, and enforce. Existing parity. Laws very, common-sense. Suggestions. To us from our public members we. Need to pay for psychiatric, and behavioral, health services at rates comparable, to, those for physical health problems that doesn't happen right now it's. Something that our public. Members point out as a real, issue in bringing, new providers, into the field and getting people to care and treatment that they need we. Need to provide, reimbursement. For, outreach and engagement services. So one, of the things that that our public members bring us is a wealth, of information about. The kinds, of services that are available in communities that, have been so, helpful to people, recovering. From serious mental, disorders, and they. They, recommend, to us that, these services, be paid for many. Of them are not, paid for it this time and, they. Recommend, the expansion. Of the, program I mentioned earlier, the certified, community behavioral, health centers. To make these nationwide, programs. So. Going forward the report will set the stage for work, by the Department, of Health and Human Services and, other federal government, departments, in the years ahead this. Is a committee that will go on for five years it will meet officially, at least twice, a year a final, report is due to Congress, in 2022, that will talk about the accomplishments. Of the committee and future. Opportunities. The, immediate next steps for, us are to have a meeting, an open meeting right, after this, event and, to. To prioritize, recommendations. Discuss. What, we what. We've seen in the report, get reaction, from our federal members, our federal partners, and then, continue. The work continue. To meet regularly. I just, want to to finish by saying that, that. It is. Mamu. Experience, for me to be able to come. Into the federal government, and to be able to work on these issues, Congress. In its, wisdom has. Now given, us the tools and a blueprint, and. President. Trump and his, administration is. Supportive. Of this work we. Haven't had a time like this before and to. Be able to have the, public members, that we have who. Represent, so many, constituencies. Across this country and inform. Us so that we can get it right we, need to get it right in federal government so I thank, all of you for, what you've done and what you'll continue, to do. Thank. You dr. McCants ket's i think it's clear to all of us that have been involved and will be involved in the future that your commitment. And passion to this project in this area will be a major driver for us and still thank you very much for, that now. I have the great pleasure of introducing. To you our next distinguished, speaker Mary, Gilbert II Mary. We'll look at some of the inequities in our current, system and describes what the work of the is m'q under, dr. McCann sconces leadership can mean in terms of system change Mary. Is a chief executive officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, commonly. Known as nameö. Familiarly. Known as Nami a native. Of North Bellmore New, York, she earned her BA at Harvard College and her JD at law Yale, Law School during. Her tenure of over 20 years in the mental health field mr. Albert, II has served as disability, counsel for the Senate Committee on health, education labor and pensions, as. Senior. Attorney for the Bazelon Center for mental health law and before, becoming a CEO of Nami she has worked on as section chief in the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services here. Prior. To that miss Gilbert II served as a director of public policy and advocacy for the federal and state issue for, federal and state issues within a me please. Help me welcome Mary to the podium. Good. Morning, thank, you for the opportunity, to speak today like. Many of the non-federal, members of, the is m'q I am an advocate and therefore. I'll try to reflect in my comments, today what I hear, every, day from, individuals, of all ages who, have mental illness and their families, and what, we hope for and expect from, the work of this committee, the.
Introduction. To this report, reminds, us that about 15, years ago the, federal New Freedom Commission. Concluded, that the mental, health system in this country was. In shambles, I wish. I could stand here today and tell, you that it has changed. But based on our experience. In our communities. It has not and things. Have gotten worse in many ways for, people with mental illness and their families. As the, report indicates, and as dr. McCants Katz went through by all the measures, in public, health by which we measure the well-being, of a population. Individuals. With mental illness both youth and adults, are, suffering. Whether. It's education. Employment death, disability, access. To care and the list goes on and, on as. Someone. Who takes helpline. Calls at our national, office from, desperate. Families. I can. Tell you that, there is a tremendous amount. Of, pain, behind. Those. Statistics. The, inability, of people with mental illness to access needed care has shattered, lives. And, devastated. Families. And the. Health and mental health system today, continues. To ignore, these, conditions. Until they reach crisis, and at, that point if you get care if at all you get care it's just until, the, crisis, resolves. And we, move to, the next one if we. Treated, other chronic, conditions this, way we, would see so many more deaths from diabetes, hypertension, heart. Disease as. Doctormick. Has mentioned we're also failing, at early, intervention. For illnesses. That on set so young. In life compared, to other chronic. Conditions the. Research, by ni MH clearly. Shows us that you get the best outcomes, when you can intervene within weeks not, years weeks. Of the, person's first, symptoms. As, a society. We can do far better we. Should not stand, by and allow young, lives to be derailed, by what, are treatable. Conditions. So. All of us in this room myself included. Bare. Responsibility, for. These failures, and, also. For the potential, solutions, to what is by any account. A public. Health crisis. We. Have to do everything, we, can, to, implement. The impactful, recommendations. In this, report in, a timely, way, Congress. Created, this committee, because, they believed, that federal. Leadership has such an important, role the, federal government, administers, some of the largest. Health, and mental health systems, in this, country and, there are countless, programs that affect the lives of people, with mental illness and their families, from, research, to housing. To education. Employment there. Are so many ways we, can change lives the federal government also enforces. The law including. The parity law which, reports, by my organization, and many others, have shown are not being, enforced, and implemented. The. Federal government provides technical assistance and resources, to state and local governments, and federal. Policies, and rates are often the guideposts, by which the private sector, and local services are, delivered change. Must, start, with the federal, agencies, gathered, here as part of our committee and then, expand, to, all stakeholders and, I, want to just add a quick word about funding, I am, NOT someone who believes, that problems, can be solved by just throwing, money at them, but, finding. Meaningful, solutions, to, a crisis, of this magnitude will. Require, adequate, and sustained. Funding, tied. To quality and. Good outcomes, as, Americans. We have the right to expect, and the report, clearly talks, about, services. That, are, spent. Resources, that are spent wisely on services, that work, and we. Also have, the right to expect, that the federal government will exert leadership. In responding. To the magnitude. And the depth, of this, crisis, to achieve, success we, are going to have to go beyond issuing. A report there. Have been other federal, Commission's, committees, and reports, and too, many of them are gathering. Dust on shelves, rather than serving as catalyst for change, true, success, will. Require sustained. Attention, and commitment. Eliminating. The policies. That are barriers to progress and, implementing. Practices through, policy, development, quality, measurement. Financing. Enforcement, of the law in short it will, take action. The. Stakes are very high, and, we cannot, afford to fail I, appreciate. And believe in the leadership, of dr. McCain's cats and, in the commitment, of my colleagues, on this committee to, working together to, find solutions and if you saw dr. McCain's cats testify, yesterday, at the help committee you will know why I have great confidence in her as a true advocate for people with serious mental illness, and their families, these.
Recommendations, Are. The result of countless. Hours of, discussion, and work, by, my colleagues. On the committee to, succeed, leaders. And the federal agencies that administer these, programs my. Colleagues, on the committee must, make the specific changes. Recommended. In the report there, is no other way if we are truly serious about finding ways to, reduce the, disability, caused by these conditions, and help. People stay in school work. And lead, meaningful lives I sincerely. Hope that, a year, from today five. Years, from today ten years from today we will look back on this, committee, and we, will say it played a key, role in, changing, the, paradigm, of today, from neglect, and tragedy. To, one of. Care and. Compassion. For, youth adults. And all people with serious mental illness and their families, in America, today's, report, is an important, first step forward. And next, year we will be looking forward to hearing about the progress the federal government will report with, respect to its own programs, and into how it is leading the, nation thank, you. Thank. You Mary. Now. I'm honored to introduce to us another, one of our of public. Is, Mick members mr., Peter Lee Pete. Is a New York Times bestselling, author and former, reporter for the Washington Post, he's a 1973, graduate of, Phillips University, in Oklahoma and, he previously worked for the Emporia, Gazette in Kansas, and the, Tulsa Tribune in Oklahoma, from. 1980, to 1986. Mr., Earley worked as a reporter at The Washington Post before, writing books full time he, is the author of six novels and twelve non-fiction, books including. Crazy a father, searched through America's health mental, health madness, which, was a finalist for the 2017. Coolest surprise. Mr.. Earley is a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness serves on the board of the corporation for supportive housing, and, was, appointed to the Virginia Supreme Court, taskforce that recommended, changes to that state's involuntary commitment laws and he. Is currently serving on a committee investigating. Ways to improve Virginia. Jails an advocate. For mental health mr. Hurley earliest testified, five times before US Congress lectured. In five foreign countries spoken, in every state except Hawaii and, toured a combined total of more than 100. Jails prisons and, treatment programs and housing facilities. Please, join me in welcoming Pete, to the podium. Good. Morning thank you, I'm. Honored to be on this commission, but, I'm going to talk to you this morning as a father and, talk about my personal story, my. Son Kevin was in college when I got the call dad food. Doesn't taste good dad. I took five people, to breakfast today they were homeless dad. I don't. Know if I really took them to. Breakfast, dad, I can't. Tell the difference between reality. And. Fantasy. Anymore. Why, raced in New York I took him to a psychiatrist that psychiatrist. Talked to him and then that psychiatrist.
Said Mr., Earley if you're lucky your. Son's using drugs if you're. Not he, has a mental illness lucky. If my son is using drugs well tests showed that he wasn't using drugs so that psychiatrist. Said to me let, me tell you what you're in for I'm not gonna sugarcoat this, there is no cure for bipolar, disorder, your, son will take medications. The rest of his life that will make him gain weight be susceptible to diabetes, chances. Are he will never hold a full-time job marriage. Very unlikely. There's. A high probability, he, will be arrested, a good, chance he'll self-medicate. With drugs and alcohol and oh, yeah individuals. With mental illness those folks die up, to 25, years before the rest of us that. Was our introduction, to the mental health system and when we left my son turned to me and he said you know dad that, doctors. Crazy. Flash-forward. A, year later Kevin and I are speeding, down 95, heading, to an emergency, room in Fairfax Virginia when, I picked him up in New York he'd been wandering on five days he hadn't slept he, was convinced, God had him on a special mission and during that car ride he, would laugh one minute he'd cry the next thing he said to me dad how would you feel if someone you loved killed himself we, got to the emergency room, we were taken into a room separated. From everywhere else we, sat there for 4 hours finally, Kevin, said there's nothing wrong with me I'm going to leave I literally grabbed a doctor he came in that room he said there's nothing I can do you haven't even examined, my son it doesn't matter the fact we had been sitting there for, four hours proved, that he was not a danger, to himself or others but, I'll tell you what you bring him back, after, he tries to hurt, you or someone, else 48. Hours later Kevin. Broke, into a stranger's, house he broke in to take a bubble bath luckily, no one was at home he. Was arrested, he became one of those 2.2. Million Americans with.
Serious Mental illness who end up being, arrested. One. Of the three thousand, three hundred and sixty-seven thousand, individuals, serious mental health center jails and prisons a missed. Opportunity here. Flash-forward two, years later kevin is slipping, mentally I call, Fairfax. County mobile response team I need your help my son is sick is, he dangerous, no. Not, yet but let me tell you the dispatcher, cuts me off there are 1.2. Million residents, in Fairfax County the, police respond, to 5,000 calls annually. Related, to mental illness there, is one, team, that can, respond, call, us when, he gets dangerous, the night that happens, I call that same district, dispatcher please, come my son is violent, oh wait is he, violent or is, he dangerous he's. Violent oh we don't come that they're violent you call the police the police came they. Shot my son twice, with a Taser hogtied. Him and took, him away, another. Failed. Opportunity. Flash-forward, another, year Thanksgiving. Terrified. That I'll call the police my son bolts from the house he, drives he gets as far as North Carolina before he runs out of gasoline, he calls me I say, I'll come get you no don't come we'll. Go get some gas I'll give him a credit card number no dad you don't understand, the voices in my head are telling me if I step out of this car I'm gonna die. Ridiculous. But. How do you know you're listening to me your brain is telling you and his brain was telling him he would die if he stepped out of that car so, I arranged for him to get gas he drove up i-95, completely. Psychotic, went off the road twice luckily, didn't hit anyone I took. Him to a safe house because, he wanted to, think. He. Got up Anila night he took off all his clothes kid he thought that that would make him invisible he. Walked out into the street but. Listen to what happened this time this time he was picked up by a crisis, intervention team, trained police officer. He. Approached him with Reese bet he. Asked when Kevin said please, don't handcuff me that's when I got tasered he said okay, just. Get in the back of the car, my. Son said he said to him my son what, kind of music you like to listen to rap so, they rode to the hospital, listening, to rap music and, in that hospital my son finally, after six years of hell got, a social, worker and a psychiatrist who, actually took time to talk to him and knew, that involved. More than sticking, a pill in his mouth the, social worker moved him into supportive, housing because. Having, independent, living gives, you a sense of pride and responsibility she, helped him find a job, she gave him hope and, she gave my son back to me today. Kevin is a peer, counselor a person. With lived experience in, Arlington, County who. Helps others who are ill he. Has moved out of supportive. Housing he, pays his own bills he pays taxes. And he's, earning a master's, degree in social, work he. Has proof that people with serious mental can, recover, and those. Who might be too sick to get better deserve. No, they are entitled, to our respect, to lives with dignity to. Have hope that, some day their. Symptoms, will improve our. Recommendations. Are solutions, to, the mess that mary, has, just described, solutions, that can spare families, like mine the trauma that Kevin and my family. Endured. Solutions. That, I believe, can also save talks tax, dollars, as this, report explains. Because, of time restraints. All of its recommendations. Were, written by non-federal. Members I am, proud that, these, recommendations, are. From advocates, who, have worked tirelessly in. The trenches, and encountered, the problems I faced I am, now eager, to, collaborate, with our federal, members, the Federal Bureau of Prisons houses. 24,000. Prisoners with serious, mental illness some, of whom are being released directly, from, isolation, cells into, the streets, what, innovative, steps, to. Protecting, the public, but humanely, dealing, with seriously, mentally ill inmates will, the Justice Department, suggest how will the Department, of Education. Help us implement early screening. How can we work together with the Veterans Administration and, Defense Department to better address, PTSD. And suicides. Our, recommendations. Are a roadmap, the, next step is for the White House our federal partners in Congress those, who actually control, the purse strings and, regulatory, enforcement to. Demonstrate, that each of them are as, committed, and as, making, this five-year journey as we, are committed. To helping, the estimated, 10 point four million Americans with, serious mental illnesses, and nearly. 7. Million younger. Americans, with se D's I'm, ready for this journey to begin thank, you. Thank. You mr. Earley We. Certainly have a, you, know a very. Strong sense. Of compassion and urgency about the work, that's before us over the next five years and it's that's tremendously, appreciated, and will, give, to us a lot of energy.
And Support as we move forward on the next over the next five years this. Concludes our presentation, before. I open the floor to questions I want to ask that, we thank all of our speakers one more time please join me in a round of applause for them. US. Department, of Health and Human Services produced. At taxpayer, expense.