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What Does The Census Have To Do With Mental Illness?

The census actually has a big impact on mental health. In this video, NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. shares why the census matters to people affected by mental health conditions:

Federal, state and local governments distribute funding and make decisions about resources based on the population counts from the census. This includes resources for people with mental illness, such as housing, Medicaid and transportation. Having enough funding for programs and services for people with mental illness depends on the government having correct information.

The census also helps determine how many representatives each state gets in the House of Representatives, and how those members of Congress are distributed within the state. These policymakers make important decisions about mental health services and supports you see in your community.

Unfortunately, people with mental illness are often undercounted.

Census Updates Related to Coronavirus

In the past, much of the census was conducted through door-to-door interviews. The U.S. Census Bureau, which oversees the census, is monitoring the current situation with COVID-19 and will adjust the process as needed. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau expects that most people will complete the census online this year.

The census will ask you about things like your name, age, race or sex. Your answers will be kept secret. The census will NOT:

  • Ask for your Social Security Number
  • Send people to jail for not answering questions
  • Ask for money or your bank account information
  • Ask if you are a citizen of the United States

Download NAMI Census brochure:

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