Examining the true price of mental illness

What exactly is the total cost of mental illness in the US? According to USA Today, while the emotional costs of mental illness are incalculable, the financial cost to the US economy is a staggering $444.2 billion. This statistic comes from a video series called “The Cost of Not Caring,” produced by USA Today in order to raise awareness of the issues around mental illness. In the video, USA Today heard from Karen Kelley, “one of about 10 million people who suffer from mental illness,” in an attempt to go deeper into the true cost of such disorders. According to Kelley, “Nobody asks to be bi-polar. Nobody asks to be schizophrenic, or have chronic depression, yet they have to still live with it, and it’s a struggle.”

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Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.