Improving Mental Health Care
Welcome back to my blog! For this blog (number 14), I have decided to write about improving mental health care. Mental health care, although prevalent, can definitely be improved in a variety of ways in not only America, but also in other countries.
My first suggestion to improve mental health care is to first raise awareness about mental health in every country. Some countries do not emphasize the importance of mental health that much. For example, in China, where my parents and relatives are from, mental health is not as prioritized as it is in the United States. Many people with mental illnesses in China do not seek help because the mental health stigma is indeed negative. I personally have bipolar disorder, and even though it is passed down genetically, I do not know who in my extended family has had bipolar disorder.
The United States does an excellent job in raising awareness about mental health and the stigma, especially with many athletes who use their platform to share their stories about mental illness and many nonprofit organizations, such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), which I volunteer for. Unfortunately, the cost of mental health care is still too high, and that may be a reason why many people with mental illness do not seek help.
In my circumstance, I have to pay at least $500 before my yearly health insurance plan kicks in. And I have long gaps between my psychiatric appointments, which are extremely expensive. For example, my psychiatric appointments generally last about 15 to 20 minutes, but they cost upwards of $200 each. And that’s not including the bills I have to pay for my medications which I take daily; fortunately they are reasonably priced with health insurance.
I believe that mental health care can be improved with more investment in mental health clinics and therapists in high schools and universities, where mental health issues first become prevalent. This proposed solution should be implemented in all countries. With a greater investment in mental health care for early adults and teenagers, it would be likely that they will be diagnosed with their proper mental health condition or illness and treated properly. If I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder early on in high school or in my first year of college, my college experience would have been much more normal and smooth; I wouldn’t have had to take a semester off or experience three traumatizing hospitalizations. I also was improperly diagnosed with just depression during my first hospitalization, instead of bipolar. As a result, I was given incorrect medication, which failed to prevent my manic episode. Therefore, an investment in mental health care is paramount.
There should also be greater investment in mental health research and medication production from the governments of all countries. With greater investment in the aforementioned categories, there will be better solutions to treat mental illness and more effective drugs that can perhaps have less side effects than normal. When I first started taking drugs for bipolar disorder, I gained a lot of weight, had memory loss, and was always drowsy. I hope that in the future, there will be new, improved drugs for bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions that do not have many, if any, deleterious side effects for patients.
Another way to improve mental health care is to better treat the incarcerated, many of whom were incarcerated due to a mental illness. Those who have a mental illness are many times more likely to be incarcerated, and we need to do a better job in preventing such a calamity.
In short, thank you so much for reading my blog about improving mental health care! I’m sure there are a multitude of solutions to improving mental health care, but here are just a few that I suggested. Please share my blog with family and friends, and subscribe at the bottom of the home page if interested! Thank you again!