Recent research suggests that mental illness is not a common problem just among local communities, but also in the United States prisons because over 1.2 million individuals suffering from mental health disorders live in prisons without having access to proper health care.
On the other hand, depression is a major factor influencing the development of mental illness among young people. Depression rates increased from 8.5 percent in 2011 to 11.1 percent in 2014, so more American children and teenagers are suffering from this condition.
The overall situation looks even worse as six out of ten people with depression do not seek mental health care, whereas eighty percent of the people suffering from severe depression receive little treatment or none.
In other words, half of all United States adults living with a mental health illness don’t benefit from any medical assistance. Based on the statistics revealed by Mental Health America (MHA), more than forty million or around 20 percent of US adults suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem.
Such numbers make up for more than Florida and New York’s population combined. There are also a few mental health doctors compared with the increasing number of cases. More precisely, in some states, where the workforce is the lowest, there is just one mental health care professional per one thousand individuals.
These mental health care professionals consist of psychiatric nurses, social workers’ counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Paul Gionfriddo, MHA CEO and president, says that ‘Once again, our report shows that too many Americans are suffering, and far too many are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives.’
He further stresses that mental illness can take its toll on everyone, and that is why public health officials must double their efforts to improve access to mental health care. This way, not just prevention would be possible, but also early diagnoses and early medical intervention.
Connecticut is currently the state that provides the best access to mental health care, whereas Nevada is the worst. These findings aim to convince policy makers that new programs and policies are needed to increase access to mental health care for all families and individuals across the United States.
By addressing mental illness in a correct manner, people will start seeking treatment and the risks of developing mental health disorders will be significantly reduced in the following years.