|WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and Congressman |
Tim Murphy, in conjunction with the Congressional Homelessness
Caucus and hosted by the Treatment Advocacy Center, led a congressional
briefing on the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) Exclusion to Medicaid.
“The IMD exclusion has inadvertently caused our jails and prisons to become warehouses for the severely mentally ill,” Congresswoman Johnson said to the gathered crowd. “Unfortunately, the consequences of non-treatment are visible in our communities. People with untreated psychiatric illness now make up one-third of our estimated 600,000 homeless population; and in 2012, there were an estimated 356,268 inmates with severe mental illness in prisons and jails across the nation. Patients with mental illness need increased access to psychiatric beds to have a real chance of recovery. They don’t need to be left out on the street or incarcerated, because their illness is never treated. We must work to eliminate barriers to better mental health treatment for our underserved minority communities.”