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Violence & Mental Illness: A Call for Reform

From the Show: Health Radio
Summary: One in five Americans experiences a mental health problem in any given year, yet the issue is still widely misunderstood.
Air Date: 10/1/15
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Andrew Sperling, Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy for NAMI
Andrew SperlingAndrew Sperling is the Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

In this position, he leads NAMI's legislative advocacy initiatives in Congress and before federal agencies. Mr. Sperling works on issues affecting the mental health community with a focus on improving the lives of people with severe mental illnesses.

Since 1994, Mr. Sperling has also served as Co-Chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force.

Prior to joining NAMI, Mr. Sperling held the position of deputy director of government relations for the National Community Mental Healthcare Council and was a legislative assistant for U.S. Representative Dick Swett (D-NH).
Mr. Sperling earned his bachelor's of arts degree from Tulane University.

After graduating from Tulane, Sperling attended George Washington University where he received a masters of arts, and in 1992, he earned a law degree from the Franklin Pierce Law Center.
Violence & Mental Illness: A Call for Reform
With tragedies involving people with mental health problems still making headlines, why isn't more being done to get those individuals the mental health care they need?

One in five Americans experiences a mental health problem in any given year, yet the issue is still widely misunderstood.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is urging Americans to take action Oct. 4-10, Mental Illness Awareness Week.

NAMI, the largest mental health organization working to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness, is calling on Americans to ask their legislators to pass comprehensive mental health care reform.

Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy for NAMI, Andrew Sperling, joins Melanie Cole, MS, to discuss mental illness and the health care reform.