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Lawmakers Fight for Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Parity
Mental illness affects one in four adults, and drug and alcohol addiction affect one in eleven Americans. Treatment for mental illness and addiction has been under-funded for years, but legislators are trying to remedy this.
On Friday, Wisconsin lawmakers and experts gathered in Wausau for a statewide series called “Making Parity Real,” discussing mental illness and addiction and whether it should be funded in the same way as physical illness.
Representatives Donna Seidel (D-Wausau) and Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) are at the forefront of pending legislation. Rep. Pasch says that you must treat mental illness and physical illness the same way.
She added that the Wisconsin Mental Health and Substance Parity Act is filling a hole that was created when people didn’t have a clear understanding of mental illness, which we have now.
She said the new legislation could affect 700,000 Wisconsin residents who work for small employers, which should help get the word out to the experts and advocates throughout the community.
Source: WAOW.com, Colby Robertson, Legislation Aims for Better Mental Health and Addiction Treatment, March 5, 2010