Janet Weinberg, Chief Operating Officer
Gay Men's Health Crisis, (GMHC)
In a recent article I read in Gay Voices Huffington Post, August 9, 2013 the following supports what I've been saying all along. It's not in a statistic, it's said just as it was meant, "It means less support for mental health and substance abuse to deal with the very issues that were part of that reason that they are living with HIV and AIDS."
"Where has all the HIV Funding Gone, Janet Weinberg, GMHC"
I'd like to share the most recent statistics from a recent Op-Ed I wrote titled Wearing Red and Green, that was on Poz.Com website this past May. http://www.poz.com/articles/stephen_puibello_2676_23892.shtml
These statistics supports from the sentence above "that they are living with HIV/AIDS."
Janet Weinberg is referring to those of us, me one of them who are dual diagnosed, those of us struggling with mental health and substance abuse, and those living with all three HIV, mental health and substance abuse.
From Wearing Red and Green, "In the process, I realized that I am not alone. Researchers estimate that as many as 40 to 60 percent of the HIV-positive population will experience depression at some point. That's right—half. Another study looked at 200 adults living with HIV and found that 15 percent had bipolar disorder. And whether you are HIV positive, have a mental illness or both, it's quite likely you have a substance use problem as well; data shows that if you have a mental illness, your chance of having a substance use disorder also is as high as 50 percent"
I don't want to go to far from what's the heart of both HIV/AIDS and mental health and other programs affected by the sequester, that being funding. I do see hope on the horizon as just before their August recess a bill was introduced into the Senate, "Senate HUD Funding Bill Reverses Harmful Sequestration Cuts in Housing Assistance ", lets hope HIV/AIDS and Food Stamps aren't to far behind.
Lastly, from my own Op-Ed above, "But when have you seen an AIDS and mental health ride, or an AIDS and mental health walk? Maybe when this is over GMHC will host the first ever AIDS WALK in the Nation, called GMHC AIDS and Mental Health Walk. Now that would be a major break through that we/they go from a statistic to actual inclusion, social inclusion towards helping raise money and by eliminating compound stigmas that they/me live with day to day.
Social Inclusion defined as, "A socially inclusive society is defined as one where all people feel valued, their differences are respected, and their basic needs are met so they can live in dignity. Social exclusion is the process of being shut out from the social, economic, political and cultural systems which contribute to the integration of a person into the community.(Department of Health, State Government Victoria Australia)
National Alliance on Mental Illness - GLBT resources