National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Skip to content National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Find a Provider
National Council for Mental Wellbeing logo

Contact Meena Dayak, or 301.602.8474

(Washington, D.C, Nov. 19, 2013) – The National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council), along with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck, today announced the launch of Connect 4 Mental Health (C4MH), a nationwide initiative calling for communities to prioritize serious mental illness. Introduced at a “Community Collaboration Summit” to leaders from both mental health and community-focused organizations nationwide, C4MH aims to take recent national discussions2,3 about serious mental illness deeper into communities to encourage change where it may have the greatest potential to impact individuals with these conditions and the communities in which they live.

“People living with serious mental illness are particularly vulnerable to fractured social support and healthcare systems – often experiencing cycles of hospitalization, jail sentences and homelessness that adversely impact them and their communities,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council. “We believe broader collaboration at the community level, to better support individuals with these conditions, may also help solve larger community problems.”

In conjunction with the launch of C4MH, organizers presented results of a new public survey of 1,000 Americans, which shows 91 percent of adult respondents agree their community could do more to help support people with serious mental illness.1 Of those surveyed, 87 percent recognize it is important for community leaders to prioritize funding for early intervention efforts in mental health.  However, the reality is that despite the high costs to national and local communities, mental health has been regularly allocated between six to seven percent of all federal health spending. 1, 4, 5

Furthermore, according to current estimates, approximately 1.25 million jail and prison inmates across the country have reported mental health problems, and between one-fourth and one-third of homeless individuals have been reported to have a serious mental illness.6, 7

“As national dialogue about mental health continues, action is needed to improve the way we support individuals with serious mental illness and their loves ones,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, executive director of NAMI. “Now is the time for engagement that goes beyond the usual stakeholders to include local leaders in emergency services, law enforcement, public housing and others. To encourage change,
Connect 4 Mental Health is highlighting select community programs and services that may inspire others striving to enhance the lives of those with serious mental illness.”

Connect 4 Mental Health in Practice
While there is no “one size fits all” approach to addressing mental health care locally, C4MH has identified four strategies for community intervention that are showing promise – early intervention, creative use of technology, service integration and enhanced continuity of care. As part of the initiative, C4MH is recognizing four communities that have initiated programs based on one or more of these strategies that aim to improve support for those with serious mental illness and positively impact their communities:

  • Henderson Behavioral Health in Fort Lauderdale developed an evidence-based early intervention program and helps more than 700 adults annually live an independent lifestyle through its supportive housing program.8
  • Vinfen in Boston is leveraging technology that helps encourage more accurate and frequent reporting on medication adherence and other physical and behavioral health concerns. Vinfen estimates the technology may save the health care system $3.79 million over a three-year period.9
  • The Center for Health Care Services in San Antonio has partnered with local law enforcement, fire and emergency response teams to successfully divert more than 1,000 individuals with serious mental illness from jails and hospitals each month.10
  • MHA (Mental Health America) Village in Los Angeles provides enhanced continuity of care that has been incorporated into the Mental Health Services Act of California. A review of the program found days of full-time employment increased by more than 200 percent, while hospitalization, homelessness and incarceration decreased.11

By highlighting these real-life examples, C4MH hopes to inspire other communities to make meaningful connections and changes that aim to support people with serious mental illness, their caregivers and entire communities.

The initiative also introduced to provide information about the burden of serious mental illness, and to highlight how the experiences of select communities across the nation can potentially serve as models for change. Visitors to the site can learn more about serious mental illness and the need for community-oriented approaches, as well view a live stream of the “Community Collaboration Summit.”
About the Survey
The research was conducted within the U.S. by independent market research company Edelman Berland on behalf of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck from October 3-6, 2013, among 1,000 participants age 18 or older (486 men and 514 women). The margin of error for the audience is + 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Connect 4 Mental Health
Connect 4 Mental Health is a nationwide initiative calling for communities to prioritize serious mental illness and advocate for new approaches that aim to help make a difference for individuals living with these conditions, their families and their communities. The campaign encourages collaboration among the mental health community and other community-based organizations – such as emergency services, law enforcement and public housing – to develop localized interventions that provide additional support for those with serious mental illness and also may help address larger community problems.

National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council) 
The National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with 2,000 member organizations, it serves more than eight million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. The organization is committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid in the U.S. and has trained more than 100,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. To learn more about the National Council, visit

The National Alliance on Mental Illness
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the largest grassroots mental health organization in the U.S. dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI advocates for patient access to services, treatment, supports and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raise awareness and build a community of hope for all of those in need. NAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI state organizations, NAMI affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs. To learn more about NAMI, visit

Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI) is an, innovative, fast-growing healthcare company that commercializes Otsuka-discovered and in-licensed products in the U.S. With a strong focus on neuroscience, oncology, cardio-renal and medical devices, OAPI is dedicated to improving patient health and the quality of human life. For more information, visit
OAPI is a subsidiary of Otsuka America, Inc. (OAI), a holding company established in the U.S. in 1989. OAI is wholly owned by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Otsuka employs approximately 42,000 people globally and its products are available in more than 80 countries worldwide. Otsuka welcomes you to visit its global website at

H. Lundbeck A/S
Lundbeck is a global pharmaceutical company highly committed to improving the quality of life of people living with brain diseases. For this purpose, Lundbeck is engaged in the entire value chain throughout research, development, production, marketing and sales of pharmaceuticals across the world. The company’s products are targeted at disorders such as depression and anxiety, psychotic disorders, epilepsy, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Lundbeck’s pipeline consists of several mid- to late-stage development programs. Lundbeck’s U.S. business is based in Deerfield, Illinois. To learn more about Lundbeck in the U.S., visit

Lundbeck employs more than 5,800 people worldwide, 2,000 of whom are based in Denmark. We have employees in 57 countries and our products are registered in more than 100 countries. We have research centers in Denmark, China and the United States and production facilities in Italy, France, Mexico, China and Denmark. Lundbeck generated revenue of approximately DKK 15 billion in 2012. Lundbeck’s shares are listed on the stock exchange in Copenhagen under the symbol “LUN.” Lundbeck has a sponsored Level 1 ADR programme listed in the US (OTC) under the symbol “HLUYY.” For additional information, we encourage you to visit our corporate site

1.    Consumer Poll Survey– Telephone omnibus survey conducted within the U.S. by an independent market research company, Edelman Berland, on behalf of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck from October 3-6, 2013.
2.    (2013, June 6). Background on the national conference on mental health. The White House. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from
3.    (2013). Presidential Proclamation — National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2013. The White House. Retrieved September 25, 2013, from
4.     Soni, Anita. The Five Most Costly Conditions, 1996 and 2006: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian
Noninstitutionalized Population. Statistical Brief #248. July 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality, Rockville, MD. Available at:
5.    Levit K., et all (2013). Federal Spending On Behavioral Health Accelerated During Recession As Individuals Lost Employer Insurance. Health A_airs, 32 (5), pp. 952-962.
6.    U.S. Department of Justice. (2006). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates (NCJ 213600). Washington, DC: Office of Justice Programs.
7.    Folsom, D., et al. (2005). Prevalence and Risk Factors for Homelessness and Utilization of Mental Health Services Among 10,340 Patients With Serious Mental Illness in a Large Public Mental Health System. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162 (2), pp. 370-376.
8.    Information provided and confirmed by Henderson Behavioral Health in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
9.    Information provided and confirmed by Vinfen in Boston, MA.
10.    Information provided and confirmed by The Center for Health Care Services in San Antonio, TX.
11.    Information provided and confirmed by MHA Village in Los Angeles, CA.