In the United States there are resources available to help people dealing with mental health disorders, such as depression. Yet, only 44.7 percent of adults with any mental illness received any mental health services in 2013, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). If you are familiar with the field of mental health you may not be surprised by SAMHSA’s findings. Because you know that reaching out for help is extremely hard for people living with mental illness.
We live in a society that still struggles to understand that mental health disorders are serious impairments. These conditions require treatment and continued therapy over the course of one’s life. People living with mental illness often fear that asking for help will result in them being stigmatized by the peers. Thus preventing people for taking the first step to recover.
To be sure, we have come along way with regard to stigma, but it is a fight that is extremely hard to win. Consider the general public’s lack of understanding about conditions like depression or addiction. Despite the fact that there is ample evidence showing that treatments are effective, they are widely underutilized. Those living with any type of untreated mental illness are at great risk of developing problems with mind-altering substances. That is because people with untreated mental health problems often self-medicate, leading to the development of co-occurring mental health disorders. In turn, requiring an extra level of treatment.
Talk Therapy for Mental Illness
The SAMHSA report indicated 43.8 million adults (age 18 or older) experienced a diagnosable mental illness in 2013. Given that 9.3 million Americans reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past year, the need for encouraging more people to seek help is great.
Mental illness is a worldwide problem, with depression affecting more than 300 million people around the globe, according to the the World Health Organization (WHO). Because treatment rates are so low in this country, perhaps American health experts should look for examples in other countries.
A campaign was launched in 2008 to help people living with mental illness in England, called Healthy Minds. It has the expressed goal of creating a system of primary care for mental health across the UK, The New York Times reports. Healthy Minds offers free open-ended talk therapy at clinics throughout the country. Since the program’s inception, adults in England receiving mental health treatment increased from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3. What’s more, people all over the country have access to talk therapy and not just in cities. Brits are getting help, according to the article, in:
- Desolate Farming Villages
- Industrial Suburbs
- Remote Immigrant Communities
The program has had a serious impact on the stigma surrounding mental illness, as well. This gives more people the strength to seek the help they desperately need.
“You now actually hear young people say, ‘I might go and get some therapy for this,’” said Dr. Tim Kendall, the clinical director for mental health for the National Health Service. “You’d never, ever hear people in this country say that out in public before.”
Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment
If you are living with any type of mental illness, the problem is always made worse by using drugs and alcohol. At Celebrate Drug Rehab, we specialize in treating clients with a dual diagnosis. Please reach out to us to begin the process of recovery.