Press Releases

Falling Through the Cracks

New Survey Shows Nation’s Continued Failure To Provide Care And Treatment For Individuals With The Most Severe Mental Illnesses

NAMI Announces Major National Initiative to Promote a Treatment Program With 25-Year Successful Track Record

Oct 02 1998

Arlington, VA - The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) will hold a breakfast briefing on Capitol Hill for members of Congress, their staffs, and the media on October 6, 1998. The event will underscore the failure to provide effective community-based treatment to individuals with the most severe mental illnesses and will launch a new NAMI initiative. Nationally recognized experts will describe a unique multidisciplinary team program that has been proven to keep people out of hospitals.

This briefing comes two months after the tragedy involving Russell Weston, Jr., on Capitol Hill and a recent call by members of Congress for the creation of a Congressional Task Force on Mental Illness to probe the consequences of not adequately treating individuals with the most severe of mental illnesses.

The new NAMI initiative to be announced centers on the Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) model. Hailed by experts as a critical component of care for those who do not respond to traditional methods of treatment, PACT draws from over 25 years of documented success and provides highly individualized psychiatric, social work, nursing, and vocational rehabilitative services. The treatment program is proven to reduce homeless-ness, hospitalizations and jail time among people with serious brain disorders.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 6, 1998 (9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)

WHERE: The Capitol Building, Room HC-7

Laurie Flynn, NAMI Executive Director
Donald Steinwachs, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
William Knoedler, M.D., PACT psychiatrist
Deborah Allness, M.S.S.W., PACT developer
Dylan Abraham, client of PACT services and his mother, Nancy Abraham