Huffington Post reports on six findings depicting the realities of mental health in the United States.
The six realities are explored below:
- Suicide rates are increasing.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate is the highest it has been in 15 years. Over the past few decades, young girls ages 10 to 14 experienced an alarming 200 percent increase.
Kristin Holland, a behavioral scientist for the CDC, said, “Suicide is not just a mental health issue – it is a public health issue, and it is preventable.”
- The media does not accurately portray mental illness and violence.
Johns Hopkins University published a study on how the media reports on mental illness and violence. According to the study, more than a third of news stories about mental illness linked having a disorder to committing violence.
This figure is disproportionate to the amount of people with mental illness who actually commit acts of violence. It is more likely that someone with mental illness will be the victim of violence, not the perpetrator.
- Mental health disorders are costly.
The U.S. spent $201 billion on psychological disorders in 2013, according to research published in Health Affairs. Additionally, according to the World Health Organization, letting conditions such as anxiety and depression go untreated can cost the world $1 trillion per year. These numbers support the case that mental health disorders should be considered a public health issue requiring policy and prevention.
- Doctors don’t take mental illness as seriously.
Another study published in Health Affairs reports that medical professionals do not follow up with their patients battling depression as frequently as they do with patients suffering physical illnesses https://www.247carlocksmiths.com/car-lockout-service.
- This election cycle has not properly discussed mental health.
Presidential candidates have made harmful, offhand comments about mental health during this campaign.
Donald Trump, now the Republican nominee for president, suggested that veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are weak, implied that gun violence causes mental illness, and mocked Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz for battling depression.
On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Bernie Sanders joked about psychological conditions when discussing the Republican Party.
- Celebrities are using their platforms to implement positive change.
Celebrities ranging from Wynona Ryder to Zayn Malik to Kristen Bell have openly discussed struggling with mental health disorders.
According to experts, public figures reaching out to the masses to advocate the importance of mental health can have a great impact. By discussing their battles, they help normalize mental health discussion and de-stigmatize having a disorder.