Pittsburgh parents who have children with mental illnesses likely have many concerns about their children's futures. Sometimes, even day-to-day progress can be a struggle.
At a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., panel members examined some of these parental concerns, as well as the state of mental health care services across the country.
The starting point for the panel's discussion was an acknowledgement of the size of the issue: more than 11 million Americans may struggle with mental illness. Putting that number in context, another panel member stated that mental illness affects virtually every family in America. The recent school tragedies also suggest that more needs to be done to address the nation's mental health system.
Unfortunately, the healthcare system has failed more than 400,000 individuals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depression who are in the country's jails. Even more may be on probation.
One step to reform might be recognizing mental disorders as truly disabling conditions. Such disorders can seriously impact an individual's ability to perform daily routines, let alone job duties. Yet the Social Security Administration is often part of the old school of thought, regarding many mental conditions as ineligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. At least the high denial rate of initial applications would suggest the SSA does not always regard mental disorders as disabilities.
That's where the work of an experienced SSDI attorney begins. An attorney can compile diagnostic and treatment data to prove that an individual qualifies for benefits. Such assistance can help cover the costs of much-needed treatments.
Source: youthtoday.org, "At House Hearing, Parents of Children with Mental Illnesses Make Cases for Systemic Reform," James Swift, March 5, 2013