Just before Christmas, I was the Master of Ceremonies for the 13th Annual Woodley House Movie Benefit in Washington D.C., which meant that I got to give a three minute talk about mental health before a movie was shown. As always, I spoke about how 18 percent of persons in jails and prisons have severe mental illnesses and need treatment not imprisonment. I talked about how 17 percent of the 130,000 homeless persons in our nation are chronically homeless, meaning that they move between the streets and jails and shelters – and most of them have severe mental illnesses and are not receiving meaningful treatment.
And then I announced some good news. We know how to help many persons with mental illnesses.