Be An Advocate
Why is advocacy important?
Pathway Homes cares deeply about those we serve, and the others who are waiting for help and we ask you to join us!
The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) reports:
- 1 in 4 Americans will be diagnosed with mental illness in their lifetime.
- 1 in 17 will be diagnosed with a severe mental illness.
- 50% of individuals with severe mental illnesses also have a co-occurring substance use disorder.
- Nearly 341,773 Virginia adults had a serious mental illness during the past year.
- Between 117,592 and 143,724 Virginia children and adolescents have a serious emotional disturbance.
- 65,329 to 91,461 of those children and adolescents exhibit extreme impairment.
- An estimated 77,000 Virginians suffer from a mental illness and do not have health care coverage,
- About 40,000 of them have a serious illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Additionally, nearly six in ten adults with a serious mental illness went without care in the past year, largely because they don’t have insurance.
- The average daily cost of a stay in a state psychiatric hospital is $835.
- The average daily cost of a person in permanent supportive housing is $67.
- Permanent supportive housing is the most significant indicator for recovery.
We need your help
We need many concerned citizens to voice their concerns to build support for public policies to protect and improve housing and mental health services, increase access to mental health services, and support effective recovery services for individuals with mental illness.
There are several ways you can lend your support and help advocate for these issues.
Elected officials pay attention when their own constituents write to tell them of their concerns, especially when large numbers of their consituents do so.
What is a constituent? Each federal and state elected official has a certain number of citizens they represent. These citizens are called their “constituents”. Letters sent to people who are not your own elected representatives do not carry the same weight as those sent to the people who actually represent you and answer to you, the voter, in an upcoming election.
- Virginia Governor’s Office – Gov. Ralph Northam’s website
- Virginia General Assembly website gives you each of your federal and state representatives once you put in your mailing address.
- Virginia House Committee on Health, Welfare & Institutions
- Virginia Senate Committee on Health and Education
- Virginia Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century
- Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services
Let us know if you are willing to write your representatives. We will be glad to supply you with sample letters.
Visit in Person
Would you be willing to be part of a group of concerned individuals who meet with their elected officials to advocate for the housing and supportive services for the homeless and those with serious mental issues and addictions? If so, let us know. We can help arrange and prepare you for the visit.
By simply liking/following our social media pages, commenting on our posts and sharing them, you help us build awareness and educate others on the issue of homelessness and how to help people reach their individual potential and lead productive, healthy lives.