Mental health problems are on the rise all over the country, suicide rates are increasing, and yet there doesn’t seem to be much in place to support this huge health issue.
Approximately 9.8 million US citizens have a serious mental illness which will inhibit their ability to live their life on a day-to-day basis.
The National Institute of Mental Health states that one in five adults in America suffers from a mental illness, which equated to 44.7 million people in 2016, from a mild mental health problem to a serious mental illness.
These figures are staggering, and yet there is so little support available to those who need help.
People can be passed around from pillar to post before they see a psychiatrist who can help them, and even when they get there, therapy appointments are incredibly expensive.
Some therapists charge up to $300 per appointment.
Meanwhile, the current presidency is proposing more cuts to Medicaid and Medicare which will only be to the detriment of low-income people suffering from mental health conditions and their ability to get treatment.
Yet mental health problems are rising, this cannot be ignored.
Suicide rates have risen in all states aside from one – Nevada, which actually had a decrease in suicides – between 1996 and 2016.
It’s the 2nd leading cause of death for young people aged between 15 and 24.
2018 has seen many high profile celebrities lose the fight with their mental health problems, such as designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.
The stigma that surrounds mental health can stop people from seeking help.
It’s easy to call out of work when you’ve broken your leg, but how do you explain having depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder over the phone to your boss?
How do you tell someone you need to take a mental health day?
Often employers are unsympathetic, and sufferers can be penalized for having a higher absence rate than their fellow colleagues.
People also might not be able to cope with the lost earnings from not going to work.
Mental health issues are costing more than $193.2 billion in lost earnings every year according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
More than 37% of students who suffer from a mental illness end up dropping out of university; this is higher than any other disability dropout rate.
One way more people are seeking support is through online therapy.
Sites like BetterHelp and Talkspace charge for this service, but the rates are much less than face-to-face therapy appointments.
Services like 7 Cups of Tea, however, offer free online therapy (albeit with non-licensed individuals).
The real question is: are there enough therapists out there to help one-fifth of the country?
This is an issue that needs to be addressed, but where do we even begin?
More funding for mental health programs nationwide is a start. Additionally, most mental health problems start between the ages of 14-25.
If we were able to make counselling more readily available for young people, it could help prevent some mental health issues before they begin.
This could also help decrease stigma around mental health. This is an issue that is only getting worse, it’s something the entire country needs to tackle.
If you are struggling, you can talk to someone on 1-800-273-8255 on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.If you are need to speak to someone about your mental health - then contact: UK & ROI: 116 123 OR in the US: 1-800-273-8255 Click To Tweet