It's mental health awareness month, and as much as I appreciate the initiative - its not enough.
I first started speaking up about mental health about 10 years ago. At that time, there was a lot of stigma around mental health. Awareness and speaking up did make a big difference. But now that a decade has passed, I find myself wondering "what next?"
Until there is comprehensive, affordable and accessible mental health care, I can't help but feel that these efforts are in vain. As someone who has struggled (like spent time in an inpatient mental health care facility) I must admit that a facebook post about mental health does very little to help those who are struggling.
People need to be able to access healthcare.
Medicare for all is supported by 69% of registered voters in the United States. Please, take your activism beyond social media and support legislation that would help to provide the care that those suffering with mental health struggles desperately need.
"At the end of 2022 Mental Health America released its annual study highlighting the harsh realities of the mental health crisis in our country. Of the many notable findings in the report, one statistic stands out: 15 percent of adults reported having a substance use disorder in the past year. Of them, 93.5 percent did not receive any form of treatment.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The current US health care system enables, encourages, and then ignores mass death on an unimaginable scale — but it’s every bit as changeable as it is brutal. The only real obstacles to change are the private insurance industry and its allies in government. When we propose that the United States adopt universal health care, the solution that the rest of the world has already figured out, the response from politicians in both parties is that the cost of a comprehensive single-payer system outweighs its benefits, all while their loved ones easily access and afford adequate treatment. Of course, studies have shown that a single-payer system saves not only lives, but money too." (source)