The Story:

2016 Must Be The Year Of Mental Health Reform as seen in the Washington Examiner reported by Rep. Tim Murphy

In the last decade there has been a decrease in the mortality rates for heart disease, stroke, HIV/AIDs, car accidents and cancer. Yet, during the same time frame the rates for suicide have increased and since 2000 the rates for drug overdoses has increased 137 percent, including a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids.

Our Expert Opinion:

n 1955, there was one public psychiatric bed for every 300 people. By 2004, as states moved away from funding state mental hospitals, there was one psychiatric bed for every 3,000 people. The result: our jails and prisons are now becoming our de facto mental health facilities. In Arizona and Nevada, for instance, there are 10 times more mentally ill people in jails and prisons than in hospitals.

Bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate would address these problems by ensuring better coordination of federal mental health resources, more strongly monitoring and enforcing the existing mental health parity law, establishing a national plan to boost the mental health workforce, and increasing research funding for the National Institute of Mental Health. If enacted, these provisions and others in the two bills will help patients and families struggling with serious mental illness, but who lack access to needed care.

– Gurjot K. Marwah, MD, president-elect of the Arizona Psychiatric Society

A PROJECT 375 Perspective:

Over 50 years ago, the United States began this grand experiment of transferring the fiscal responsibility for individuals with mental illnesses to the federal government. During that half-century, it has become increasingly clear that the experiment has been a costly failure, both in terms of human lives and in terms of dollars. The consequences of this failed experiment for mentally ill individuals, for their families, and for the public at large are legion. As stated in the article, suicide rates have increased, and rates for drug overdoses have increased, including the alarming rate of overdose deaths involving opioids. Those with a mental illness are literally suffering. The moral of this story is that, just throwing money at the mental health problem will not, by itself, necessarily lead to any improvement. Congress must move forward and stop the suffering for our friends, families, co-workers, etc. that are in a holding pattern and need help now!
(E. Fuller Torrey, M.D, 2012)

– Carissa Johnson, PROJECT 375 Director of Operations


Let’s Talk About It:

We are so excited to bring you our latest installment of REAL CHATS. This week’s story is from Jennifer Fliegel.

Jennifer grew up in Montgomery County, MD. She went to Towson University, got married, moved to Chicago and about a year and a half ago, began to live her life.

PROJECT 375: Who is your hero?

Jennifer Fliegel: There are people I admire. Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Robin Williams, Rosa Parks, Nelly Bly. But my heroes are the quiet, everyday people who survive (and even thrive) while dealing with terrible suffering in their personal lives.

Find the Real Chat here.

For more details or to get involved, contact Emily Thieme at

Quote of the week:
“The best way out is always through.”

— Robert Frost

Listening to:
Dog Days Are Over from PROJECT STABLE
Balance in life, like in body, is not a given, we need to work for it.
Give it a spin here, courtesy of Spotify.
There is no fee to sign up for Spotify.


1. a benefit corporation that provides homeless and disabled artists the opportunity to earn their own income. ArtLifting sells original paintings, art prints, and products so artists can earn recurring income from each piece.



Meet Randy, an abstract-expressionist artist who started creating art due to a need to express himself. Randy lives with bipolar disorder.


Our featured MyCounterpane writer is John Borland! You can read his entry here.


This Just Inthe new PROJECT 375 Nail Kit.
On your nails and your toes this season.

Your donation of $25 will provide stigma fighting nail kits for free to children all over the country. As a thank-you gift you may choose to receive a nail kit of your own. Wear your CRAZY STIGMA GREEN™!

PROJECT PREVENT™ Mindful Putty :

YOU DID IT! Thank you to all who helped us surpass our fundraising goal and raise $16,500 for PROJECT PREVENT™ Mindful Putty!

The putty features our CRAZY STIGMA GREEN™ . It is pliable putty packaged with evidenced-based mindfulness tips and resources to ensure boys and men (ladies too) alike are comfortable having a conversation about and addressing their needs regarding mental health.


Your donation of $35 will ensure children across the country receive this shirt for FREE. You can also choose to receive the I Am Aware graphic t-shirt as your thank-you gift.


“We must continue to remove the stigma around mental illness and its treatment and make sure that these individuals and their families know they are not alone.”

– President Barack Obama

Watch President Obama Share the Steps He’s Taking to Reduce Gun Violence

Virtual Reality Therapy: Treating The Global Mental Health Crisis as seen in TC reported by Alex Senson

Virtual reality (VR) has been used for decades as a tool for therapists to administer virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) in a safe and controlled manner. Due to cost and technology limitations, it has not been widely available, to date. With the advent of affordable mobile VR headsets, such as the Gear VR, there is a new opportunity to apply telemedicine to decentralize mental health treatment, reaching more patients and improving lives around the world. have increased and since 2000 the rates for drug overdoses has increased 137 percent, including a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids.

Grappling with Mental Health Challenges in Congo as seen in IRIN reported by Zahra Moloo

Despite the high needs, provision of mental health services is limited. Less than one percent of the government’s health budget goes towards it. There are six mental health hospitals in the entire country and only one mental health outpatient facility, in the capital, Kinshasa. In North Kivu, a province with a population of more than six million inhabitants, the only mental health centre, Tulizo Letu, is situated in the bustling hub of Goma.

Kentucky Mental Health Court Celebrates First Anniversary as seen in The Miami Herald reported by Beth Musgrave

“Thus far, I’ve been really impressed with the court’s work. They have exceeded enrollment goals and have a high retention rate among those who participate,” Lanter said. “We’ve seen a positive impact among several of the individuals most commonly encountered in downtown Lexington, and that relieves some of the pressure experienced by police and downtown churches, business and visitors.”

Mark Your Calendar :

Our next ambassador conference call is on January 20, 2016 at 10AM CDT. Join the call and be a PROJECT 375 ambassador. Dial in: (712) 775-7031 Code: 809-872.


You can check out The Chatter, Volume 22 here.

How to get involved

  • Share your story on
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  • If you have any ideas you would like to share with us or need ideas on how you can help be a part of the conversation,
    please let us know at

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