Mental Health, one of our biggest needs for the care of our time, and a recurring problem in society but rarely helped. One in two people in the U.S. suffers from depression or anxiety. One in seventeen Americans suffers from a serious mental health issue already. In the system, it is commonly said: “medication and therapy is the best treatment”. If that is the case, what is the government or economy doing to help? Are insurances covering the medication and therapy expenses? These are all things that will be discussed along with the other issues and solutions for these issues.
In the system, there are many issues that make the help offered to those who suffer from poor mental health not as good as it should be. The first problem we have is how mental health is a political issue. The issue that leads to increasing some of the death rates was welfare and benefits being cut. “Suicide is not a rational response to economic hardship; it is not a rational response to having your benefits cut,” says O’Neil. This is partly the reason the system is going poorly. Mental health already will impair one’s ability to think rationally. When someone with mental health issues reaches a poor economic standpoint, the rational response to a person that suffers from a mental disability could lead to thoughts of suicide. This means that people with mental disabilities need to be protected economically and politically.
“A recent large study in California found that only 32 percent of uninsured residents with mental illnesses received any treatment at all and that less than 12 percent got adequate help.” “Untreated mental illnesses in the U.S. cost more than $100 billion a year in lost productivity”. Suffering from mental health already affects adults everyday lives. How are they expected to face it and take on therapy and medication to get the proper help? It is proven that those who live close or below the poverty rate are severely depressed and have a harder time to hold up a job.
Being someone who suffers from mental health and had been through several facilities, there are problems only people who go through the system notice. Our facilities can be at times unsafe. Being a patient, there were many times where it felt that there was nowhere else to go to help and feel better. Seeing and knowing several other teens that have been through treatment (overnight treatment for example), its common most of them feel that the hospitalization was unhelpful. A majority of the kids fake it until they make it out because they hit a point where it feels like they are emotionally trapped. The facility I went to didn’t allowed the patients outside and we were still able to get some things from the staff. Some of the patients even got sharp objects past the staff; which was alarming since it was their job to keep their patients safe. Another issue that occurs is the fee of being kept in hospital. Certain insurance policies will help cover the bill, but, it still is expensive. For families that suffer from money, this type of hospitalization is too expensive for some to afford to make it harder to receive treatment.
With the problems that play into how mental health treatment is handled, there are also things being worked on to improve treatments. Something that has improved is equal coverage laws “Parity, as it relates to mental health and substance abuse, prohibits insurers or health care service plans from discriminating between coverage offered for mental illness, serious mental illness, substance abuse, and other physical disorders and diseases.” Parity is different in different states though. Most states make it a required law that there is some type of coverage provided for mental illness. Some offer a broad coverage as for others, the limit of coverage is biologically based or for serious mental disabilities. Parity does affect the insurance policies that already offer support but there is no law that makes this required to the extent of state laws; there had been some unsuccessful parity as well.
A similar improvement was made in 2010 to help commercial and government insurance marketplace, this is called the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Along with the ACA, Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 also helped improve adolescent health care. “In the first quarter of 2016, 13.7% of people 18 to 24 years of age still lacked health insurance. Limitations in the scope of benefits coverage and inadequate provider payment can curtail access to health care for adolescents and young adults”. This shows that improvements are being made to help support the mental health system get stronger so future patients can receive better help.
A different way of approaching resolving some of the problems with mental illness is providing schools with resources to be able to recognise when a teen or child is struggling. School nurses should treat mental illness the same way they treat physical illness. Kids who do struggle in school feel more pressured to carry on their feelings because in some schools this isn’t a subject that had been discussed enough and for the kids that suffer, effects their school work and work ethic in the classroom. If this was treated more like a physical illness, more kids would feel encouraged to seek the help they need. Many high schoolers feel like it makes them weird for struggling mentally but if they are introduced to what mental illness is and offered help, more kids will be likely to seek out. The movement of schools helping teens get the proper help they need sooner will also increase employment rates; they have a healthier mindset and make them feel more motivated to work.
The rates of youth depression has worsened. Based on sstatistics, in 2011, 8.5%of our youth suffered with depression. In 2014 the rates increased to 11.1% and 80% are left with insufficient or no treatment at all. Access for americans has increased though. Things like access to insurance and treatment and those who were left uninsured by Medicaid is 13% in states that did expand Medicaid. Expanding how many people are in the field of mental health will help as well. As of now, there is a workforce shortage leaving thee to be one mental health professional in every thousand people.
The way medications are prescribed to a person with mental illness is a hit or miss. They either work or have a negative effect, leading the patient to have even more mental problems leading them to be prescribed new medication. The medications being prescribed are chemicals that increase or decrease the chemical levels of a patient’s head. Going through this process is very hard though. First, a patient is perscribed a medication the doctor feels would be the most suitable for the patient. The patient then starts at a small dosage and increases until the medication meets their needs. This can take a bit of time to figure out the medication and dosage that is the best for the patient’s brain chemical levels. A way that this could be avoided with guessing the pill and dosage, a genetic test should be done to see what medication matches the patients chemical levels and need the most. Doing this will take away wasting the time in the beginning of figuring out what works and what medication will have a negative affect on the person being prescribed to.
Throughout this topic, the issues and solutions of mental illness was put into depth. The problem of schools not introducing mental illness enough and economics affecting a person’s mental standpoint, there is a lot to be worked on in the mental health field. As much work that there is to be done, some improvements that have progressed. Of the solutions that are the most helpful for the topic, genetic testing for prescribing medication and insurance plans covering mental care would be a good movement in solving some of the issues that come from mental health. They stand out as some of the best solutions because money revolves around a lot of the issues, if insurance is demanded of more coverage and patients get the right prescription sooner, the help for people who suffer would be so much more significant and for that reason, the solutions described would be the best ones to change the mental health issues.