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Expressing the Concern of Mental Health with Regard to How it affects African-Americans Treatment, Diagnosis, Crisis Intervention and Support of Legislation at all Levels of Government

WHEREAS, the NAACP has determined the seriousness of mental health to be a national problem with regard to African-Americans; and

WHEREAS, researchers find that African-American patients tend to receive poorer mental health care compared to whites. Although blacks seek out care as frequently as whites, the researches explain, "Blacks are much less likely to receive care that conforms with (standard) recommendations;" and

WHEREAS, mental illness is often mis-diagnosed in Blacks; "not only are African-Americans over diagnosed with schizophrenia, their treatment is frequently of briefer duration than whites;" and

WHEREAS, a survey of urban police departments in 1994 (174 respondents) indicated that United States cities with populations of 1,000,000 or more, conducted in 1996 (Borum, et al., 1999) indicated that seven percent of all police contacts, both investigations and complaints, involve persons believed to be mentally ill; and

WHEREAS, the Crisis Intervention Team Model that originated in Memphis, Tennessee in 1988 and which is now being replicated in cities nationwide grew out of the community response to the police killing of an African-American who had a history of mental illness; and

WHEREAS, in the House of Representatives, Mrs. Roukema submitted the Congressional intent to establish a "Mental Health Advisory Committee."

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP vigorously support the legislative issue that is being pursued by advocates for the mentally ill throughout our Nation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP Washington Bureau add its "priority support" to the Legislative Bill H. RES. 14 in the 107th Congress, that was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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