Mental health affects each and every one of us.
We must care for one another and eliminate the stigma that has long plagued those affected. We can all increase the awareness of this public health crisis by creating campaigns within our schools and communities. Ideas include:
Taking initiative to strengthen the health education system in the United States.
The crisis continues at the will of every passing year. A lack of dedication to the well-being of impressionable minds at peak maturation puts students at risk of developing mental disorders at an early age, fostering the threat of long term mental stability issues. In order to combat latent flaws, individuals must first acknowledge that they exist. A change to the system starting with recognition, followed by widespread acknowledgement and action, will be the movement needed to promote a full understanding of human health and will protect the evolution of maturing minds for future generations.
A bill regarding mental health disorders has not been introduced since April of 2017. While it is a difficult issue to regulate, more can be done. Policy suggestions include:
40 million Americans are dealing with a mental illness, but 56 percent of adults do not receive treatment.
Increase funding for Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) in Medicaid, which “ensures screening and necessary follow-up care for children, including mental health screening and treatment.”
Mandate tracking growth through emotional testing, similarly to standardized testing, throughout school years. Children should not be suspended from school for more than a day without a required mental health screening.
There is a shortage of 30,000 child and adolescent psychiatrists, and patients wait on average 7.5 weeks for a first appointment, if the child psychiatrist is taking on new patients.
Provide student-loan forgiveness for psychiatrists and psychologists who commit to participation in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps or specializing in the treatment of children's care. These doctors do not make nearly as much as colleagues in other specialties, yet their profession is just as essential.