The World Health Organisation ranks mental health disorders as the number one source of disability, but millions of sufferers in the US say they are no longer getting routine healthcare.
The number of psychiatric beds available in the country decreased from more than half a million in the 1950s to only 35,000 in 2012.
The US has cut $4bn from its mental health budget since the Great Recession.
Seriously ill patients must now turn to a network of community mental health centres for their medical, housing and other needs.
Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports from Richmond, Virginia.