There have been alarming trends in the state of mental health for America as psychologists and mental health experts have seen a steady decline in psychological wellness. Recently, America has had to confront some serious problems such as the growing substance abuse epidemic, particularly with opioids. In addition, suicide rates per 100,000 people have increased to reach a 30 year high.
Other problems are also raising concerns such as dramatic increases in mental health related disability awards and a surge in post traumatic stress disorder diagnoses among veterans. In 2013 a study of hundreds of different diseases found that the toll of mental disorders has grown in the past two decades even though other conditions have become more manageable. And although mental health has been steadily on the rise, unfortunately access to treatment still remains a huge problem.
Currently about 8.3 million Americans or about 3.4 percent of the adult population suffers from a serious mental health issue. Research has revealed that in spite of these numbers, access to professional help has been deteriorating. About 9.5 percent of people in one study didn’t have health insurance that will cover a psychiatrist, and about 10.5 percent of people experience delays in getting treatment due to insufficient mental health coverage.
In addition to problems with access to treatment there is also a lack of new solutions for mental health issues and research into potential treatments. The stigma behind mental health is also a factor that may prevent people from getting help and instead drive them to self-medicate through substance abuse. All of these issues possibly contribute to a rising problem with mental health that needs to be addressed in the U.S.
Mainly it is important for people to have easy access to treatment and options for new methods of recovery in order to combat the downward trend in American mental health.