Forum Session

Dispelling the Myths and Stigma of Mental Illness: The Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health
April 14, 2000


Richard Hegner


This meeting featured a discussion by U. S. Surgeon General David Satcher of the report on mental health that he issued in December 1999. The focus of the meeting was the report's most policy-relevant findings, among them the widespread prevalence of mental illness, which affects one in five Americans each year; the strong scientific basis for the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness; the effect of stigma in impeding needed treatment; the rationale for parity of coverage of mental and somatic illness; and the role of race, ethnicity, and poverty as obstacles to access. Sheila Burke discussed differences and similarities between mental and somatic disorders and how they are treated by providers and covered by insurers.


David Satcher, MD, PhD, Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Public Health Service; Sheila Burke, RN, Executive Dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Related Materials

More information available in the accompanying publication, Issue Brief No. 754.

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