Board certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Morris Kharasch holds a faculty position at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Morris Kharasch’s philanthropic activities include support of the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) is America’s largest advocacy organization for mental health. It offers educational programs in thousands of communities as well as a nationwide hotline, media contacts, and NAMI Walks to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Roughly one in five Americans has a mental illness, and half of that group does not receive treatment.
The organization has been lobbying Congress for improvements in mental health care. Its efforts paid off in the House of Representatives as its Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.
The bill, which awaits action by the whole House and the Senate, mandates new positions and agencies to deal with the problems. It also improves crisis response, early intervention, and the coordination of primary care, substance abuse care, and mental health care. The measure also calls for incorporating the best research into treatment and allows Medicaid to expand coverage under certain conditions.