Media Contact: Adam Taff, 913.484.1140, firstname.lastname@example.org, Dr. Jantz Media Representative
(Edmonds, WA) September 25, 2019 – September is #NationalRecoveryMonth. As we all know, there is an opioid addiction and both mental health and suicide crises in our country today. After recent high-profile suicides by church leaders, The Center and I believe it is time to take a bold step…and call for action.
Today we launch a nationwide campaign to combat the alarming surge in suicides in America, announcing the “2-3-5 Initiative.” The 2-3-5 Initiative strives to reduce the rate of suicide 50% by the year 2030.
We are living amid the most dramatic increase in mental health disease in modern history. We can trace the increase to 2005 with the advent of social sharing platforms, and the growth remains unabated today. Importantly, it is the rate of depression and anxiety that has mental health experts like myself, and indeed our entire society, concerned.
While we might expect overall numbers to increase as population increases, we would hope that the percentage of those experiencing depression and anxiety might go down, or at least stay constant. Unfortunately, we are seeing just the opposite – the rate of these mental illnesses has actually grown by 18% since 2005, according to the World Health Organization. Those numbers actually pale in comparison to the increase in the rate of suicide – a staggering increase of 30% in the U.S. since the start of the century.
Today, if you are in a conference room with 100 adults, about 25 of the attendees – 1 in 4 – are struggling with either significant depression, anxiety, or both. Four of the attendees have had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. One or two people in the room has likely already attempted suicide.
We also know that while depression and anxiety are very treatable, less than 1 in 3 will ever receive the care they need to lead a happy, healthy life. Because depression and anxiety are leading causes of suicide, it is time for all of us take the initiative and reverse these trends. That is why today we launch the 2-3-5 Initiative.
The 2-3-5 Initiative – reducing suicide by 50% by 2030 – is a bold program that will draw upon the resources of the government, mental health experts, insurance companies, citizens and family members to achieve this goal.
Our challenge is twofold – we must truly understand the causes, and we must provide effective, easily accessible treatment. The costs to our society are simply too high to not take action.”
The mission is not just to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety, but to have an earnest discussion among the major entities that work within the healthcare industry – including the government, insurance providers and concerned citizens.
We are calling for specific action:
- A commitment from the government to increase investment in PSA announcements de-stigmatizing depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
- A commitment from the government to expand upon coverage within Medicare to provide cost-effective mental health treatment programs for those of more modest means. Today, the overwhelming majority of Medicare insured are not receiving the mental health treatment they need to recover and lead productive lives.
- A commitment from insurance providers to expand coverage of depression, anxiety, trauma and suicide prevention treatment, understanding that effective treatment saves costs as well as lives. Expanded treatment means more coverage for initial treatment, and coverage for post-treatment at-home care.
- For fellow citizens to encourage support from these organizations, and also to promote treatment for those struggling.
- A national movement to educate teachers and family members on brain chemistry differences between boys and girls, and to create an educational program that works for young boys. Young men currently are in distress, failing to launch, committing unacceptable acts of random gun violence, and accounting for 250% more suicides than women.
We call on Mental Health Providers to Provide Reduced Rate Suicide Prevention Treatment, Insurance Providers to Provide Stronger Reimbursement
I am also challenging insurance providers to re-look at their costs associated with not just treatment, but the societal and familial effects of denied treatment. Denying treatment leads to a downstream effect of increased health issues, unemployment, and suicide, resulting in extensive societal and real costs.
It is time for all of us – individuals, treatment professionals, insurance providers and the government – to commit to changing lives for good. Together, I am confident the 2-3-5 Initiative will be successful. In turn, we will have a happier, healthier and more productive society.
I am requesting each of you to please become active in this campaign. Encourage those struggling to seek help. Call your elected representatives and request they provide the visibility, funding and support of this initiative. Break down the stigma of addiction, mental health and suicide and encourage treatment for those who need it. Together, we can change lives for good.
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