Health care in the United States has long been a hotly debated topic - yet, when it comes to mental health care, the conversation quickly goes quiet. With rates of depression and suicide steadily increasing alongside instances of gun violence, the national conversation around mental health is only becoming more essential.
In fact, according to the CDC, nearly 45,000 people died as a result of suicide in 2017 alone, and what's all the more troubling is that in many of those cases the individuals had not been previously diagnosed with a mental health condition. With mental health concerns finding themselves at the forefront of numerous social debates, it has become evident that this is a crisis that can no longer be put on the back burner by elected officials and policy makers.
So, this raises the question: what is the root of this mental health crisis, and, better yet, what can elected officials and community organizations do to better support individuals in need, and help provide care before it is too late?
Which programs do you think could provide the greatest aid to individuals in crisis, and have the potential to make a positive, long-term impact on the mental health of individuals across the nation?
Improved mental health treatment options in health plans
Improved community mental health centers
Improved mental health programs for children in foster care
Ensuring mental-health conditions not qualify as 'pre-existing conditions' when applying for insurance coverage
Greater access to mental health programs for veterans
Improved mental health education programs in schools
Improved mental health rehabilitation programs in prisons
Greater access to mental health programs for active-duty military members
Expansion of mental health programs for homeless individuals
Improved crisis-intervention training for public officials
Greater accessibility of social services
Greater access to subsidized medications
Improved community outreach programs
Greater access to mental health support groups
More on-site therapists at schools
Sanctioned mental health days at work
Greater access to postpartum depression support programs
Improved anti-bullying campaigns
Free/subsidized therapy sessions for college students
Improved call-in crisis hotlines
Improved text-in crisis hotlines
Increased access to mental health courts
Increased access to emotional support animals
More comprehensive welfare programs
Decriminalization of illegal drugs