THE STATE OF MENTAL HEALTH IN AMERICA
SW204, Social Work
Beth Hyatt, LISW-CP Beth Hyatt
THE STATE OF MENTAL HEALTH IN AMERICA
A critical part of one’s overall wellness is mental health. Society is affected if one is mentally ill and does not receive the necessary care they may have a hard time holding down a full-time job. A job with benefits such as insurance. The main goal after identification and intervention is recovery. Mental health is an illness that does not discriminate. This illness could possibly afford health insurance benefits. However, without a job one can potentially can strike anyone whether young or old, rich or poor. Mental health disorders include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, ADD, ADHD and substance abuse (Content, C. 2018). One in five adults have a mental health condition. Mental illness is now one of our biggest social problems.
Advocates for mental health prevention services advocate for services, care and treatment for ALL of those who need it. Most Americans lack access to mental health care and they are left without mental health treatment. Treatment may not be sought if one does not have the funds available to pay for same. If one does not have insurance available one may not receive the necessary treatment. Without proper treatment one may not be able to hold down a full-time job. Without a job and the necessary income to provide a means of support one may become homeless. Homeless may resort to criminal activities. Those criminal activities can range from something as “minor” as shoplifting to something as “major” as dealing and/or using drugs. These criminal activities could possibly land one in jail and therefore the beginning of a cycle of a “career criminal.”
In 2010 President Barack Obama signed into law The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which requires that insurance plans offer “behavioral health” coverage including mental health, addiction and substance abuse help as an “essential health benefit.” (Fitzgerald, T. 2011).
All people in America should have a right to health care benefits including mental health services. Mental Health America calls on the federal and state government to insure as a matter of law that public and private health plans afford people access to needed behavior health care and treatment on the same terms as surgical and other medical care (cite). These services should be subject to the same terms and conditions as care and treatment for any other condition.
Despite passage of the Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity, 8 percent (8%) of youth do not have any mental health coverage (cite). Fifty percent (50 %) of mental problems present themselves before the age of fourteen (14). Mental health problems affect 1 in 5 young people at any given time. Almost forty-five percent (45%) of students with a mental health condition fourteen (14) years or older drop out of school. The high drop-out rate for any disability group. Suicide is a serious health concern and is the third leading cause of death in young people between ten (10) and twenty-four (24). About two-thirds of all young people with mental health problems are not getting the help that they need.
In January 2016 the U.S. Department of Education with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services called Healthy Students, Promising Future provided five impact opportunities for collaboration between healthcare and schools. All children should have the right to live in a healthy community free form violence and with access to high quality primary and mental health care, healthy food, good education, opportunity and other resources necessary for a child to grow and thrive. A child and a family should also have access to mental health services that prevent mental health illnesses and substance abuse use, early identification of mental illness, treatment and long-term support.
Content, C. (2018, May 9). America has an overwhelming problem with mental health issues.
Elizabethan Star (TN). Available from NewsBank: https://infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/ document-view?p=AWNB;docref=news/16BCFA72A86D0790.
Fitzgerald, T. (2011). HealthCare Changes: What To Expect Through 2018. On March 30, 2010, President
Barack Obama signed into law the HealthCare and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, supplementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and completing passage of an expansive healthcare reform package, RURAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS, (2) 34.