ongoing increase in efforts to effectively address mental health in communities
across the country, United Way of Perry County
and the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership have teamed together to provide a solution for the community. Local residents have saved $140,282 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 last month’s
recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month, President 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 Perry 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 Perry 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 Rebecca Fenn of United Way of
Perry 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, ” Fenn said.
Failure to take prescribed
medicine is an ongoing problem with mental illness treatment. Non-adherence to antipsychotics
is likely the single-biggest factor “contributing to psychotic relapse and
hospitalization,” according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. And the average rate of
non-adherence is about 50 percent, according to the Journal of Clinical Psycopharmacology.
“Mental health is a key
component in overall health and wellbeing, and we’re happy to see some many
people able to get the help they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford,” said
Susan Gilmore, FamilyWize’s Executive Director of Community Engagements.
As the only prescription
assistance service of its kind to pass through 100 percent of its savings
directly to its members, FamilyWize brings together millions of uninsured and
underinsured individuals and families into one umbrella-buying group to negotiate
The average discount is 40
percent and is sometimes as much as 75 percent or more -- similar to what
pharmacies give the largest insurance companies and employers. Since 2005,
FamilyWize has helped nearly 7 million people get medicine they otherwise could
not afford, which accounts for close to $700 million in direct savings on
The FamilyWize-United Way Card
requires no enrollment or activation. Consumers give the card to their
pharmacists every time a prescription is needed and discounts are automatically
applied. The FamilyWize card is accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies
nationwide, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kmart, Target and Walmart. For
more information, or to download a free prescription card or compare the
discounted price of prescriptions at nearby pharmacies visit www.FamilyWize.org.
United Way is a worldwide movement of nearly
1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories. It advances
the common good by focusing on education, income and health – the building
blocks for a good quality life. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to
action – to give, advocate and volunteer – to improve conditions in their local
community. For more information about United Way Worldwide, please visit: www.UnitedWay.org. For more information about United Way of Perry County, please visit: www.unitedwayperryco.org.
The FamilyWize Community Service Partnership was established in 2005 to
help all people get the medicine they need. Today, more than 80,000 community
agencies, thousands of United Ways and the America’s Promise Alliance Partners
coordinate local distribution of the free FamilyWize prescription drug discount
card, which lowers the cost of medicine as much as 75% or more. The free FamilyWize cards have helped seven million
people save almost $700 million. For more information, visit familyWize.org/about-us.