With one in five Americans suffering from a mental illness at any point in their lives, the demand for behavioral health services is loud and clear, but the reality is that many people do not have access to quality care.
Indeed, only 26 percent of the need for mental health services is met in this country, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
As a mental health professional, two experiences with suicide have stayed with me over time.
The first occurred while working on an inpatient unit. A young woman jumped five stories from a parking garage and survived.
Are people with serious mental illness more prone to violence than the general population? In the aftermath of almost weekly mass shootings and other acts of extreme violence, this question inevitably emerges.
In 1949, Mental Health America led the way in establishing May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Since that time, mental health care has come a long way through a better understanding of behavioral health conditions, the development of corresponding evidence-based practices, and improved health care delivery.
However, we still have a ways to go.
The oft-cited statistic that one out of every 68 children in America has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) serves as the ongoing reminder that ASD affects many families, school systems and communities.
The challenge for the health care system at large is to determine the best treatment at a cost society can bear.
The opioid epidemic has become an all-too-familiar topic in hospital grand rounds, in political speeches, in daily news briefings, and in social media hashtags.
However, there is another epidemic, one that in many cases actually overlaps with, and exacerbates, the opioid crisis: benzodiazepine misuse.
A recent Open Minds piece entitled “Untangling the Access Issues for Addiction Treatment” points to four reasons as to why addiction services are rarely or never accessible.
… Most people wouldn’t argue the role these factors play in contributing to access challenges for OUD treatment. However, some people might argue that we need to probe further to untangle what access really looks like in the larger health care delivery system.
“On average, Americans with major mental illness die 14 to 32 years earlier than the general population.”
Every time I hear it, I’m alarmed. Contrary to popular belief, most people with serious mental illness do not die from suicide or violence. They die from the same conditions as those without serious mental illness – cancer, heart disease, diabetes.