United Way of La Porte County and FamilyWize Team Up to Combat the Nation’s Mental Health Problems and Help Thousands in Need of Prescription Assistance

By: United Way of La Porte County Last Updated: July 8, 2014

united-way-laporte-countyWith the ongoing increase in efforts to effectively address mental health in communities across the country, United Way of La Porte County and the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership have teamed together to provide a solution for the community. Local residents have saved $207,840 on mental health prescription medications they might not have been able to afford otherwise, thanks to a partnership between the two organizations.

More than one in five U.S. adults suffers from mental health issues, while one in 10 young adults experience a period of significant depression, according to MentalHealth.gov. One in 20 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.

As part of recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month this past May, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation addressing the growing issue of mental illness in the nation.

“Over the course of a year, one in five adults will experience a mental illness, yet less than half will receive treatment. Because this is unacceptable, my Administration is fighting to make mental health care more accessible than ever,” Obama’s proclamation read, in part.

FamilyWize, a unique national grassroots community initiative offering free prescription assistance to millions of Americans in partnership with United Way of LaPorte County, is dedicated to reducing the cost of prescription medicine for individuals and families through distribution of free prescription savings cards. The FamilyWize cards may be used by anyone in need and are provided free through United Way of LaPorte County.

FamilyWize and the United Way have helped nearly 7 million people nationwide save close to $700 million on the medicines they need to live healthy lives – including $197 million in mental health prescription cost savings. Almost 1,000 United Ways distribute the cards in the communities they serve.

“Prescription medicine is crucial for maintaining mental health, but the high costs often act as a barrier,” said Kris Pate, executive director of United Way of La Porte County. “We’re living in tight economic times. People should not have to choose between taking their medication and paying for a meal. The FamilyWize prescription savings program can make the difference in whether or not a patient obtains the proper medicine and follows proper treatment.”

Many of the uninsured and underinsured individuals helped by this program may have had to skip their medications otherwise due to high costs, Pate said.