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The Human Genome Project (HGP) that achieved its goal of mapping the genes in human DNA and unearthing the genetic roots of many diseases would not have been possible without concentrated research initiatives backed by strong sponsors and robust funding. But if the time, energy and money on HGP have yielded so many benefits, can’t we invest more money and effort into mental healthcare?
According to a recent Health Affairs study, mental disorders are easily the most expensive medical condition in the American healthcare system, exceeding $200 billion annually for the most recent year (2013) in which data was available. The contrast between attention and impact leaves many confused.
“In the past two decades, mental health services have been shrinking, not growing,” wrote the Bloomberg News editorial board in a recent op-ed. “From 1992 to 2012, the number of psychiatric beds per capita fell by two-thirds.”
The NIH described the Human Genome Project as biology’s equivalent to “the Apollo moon shot.” Can America afford a mental health equivalent? The answer: we must.
Read full, original post: Shouldn’t We Have A Human Genome Project for Mental Illness As Well?