Mental Illness and ‘Expendable’ People

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), almost a quarter of adult Americans suffer some type of diagnosable mental illness in a given year.

They also state that mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the US and Canada.

And that 45% of people with a mental disorder suffer from more than one mental illness at a time.

Almost 10% of American Adults suffer from a mood disorder which can lead to anxiety and substance abuse.

Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause for disability in people ages 15-44, with women being more apt to suffer than men.

In 2006, the NIMH found that 33,300 people in the US died from suicide, with more than 90% of those having a diagnosable mental disorder.

Why, when the statistics are THERE to support a NEED for better care and prevention, WHY is our mental health care system in the US so damn broken?

Mental Health and "Expendable" PeopleWhy is it that when you feel suicidal and you go to the ER to get help, they don’t even have psychiatrists in an Emergency Psych Unit?

Why would you get sent home and told to make an appointment with a psychiatrist and then the wait time is 4-6 weeks?

Why is depression that leads to suicidal thoughts not treated like a life-threatening injury would?

Why are teenagers overlooked over and over again in the mental healthcare system?

Why is mental illness looked at as “not a thing” by so many professionals in the medical field?

I’ve talked many times about how ridiculous it is to cut funding to education, specifically to early education that lays the framework for successful adults. I also do not understand why healthcare funding is constantly cut.

My friends operate an adult foster care program. They have 12 women in their home with a range of mental disabilities and disorders. These are women who cannot live on their own without assistance. My friends do an amazing job of caring for these women and giving them a good balance of home life and independence.

However, every time state and federal healthcare funds are cut, they are given less and less to care for these women. The general public would be appalled at what our lawmakers think is acceptable to care for a human being.

Another friend has a teenage daughter who is extremely depressed and has admitted to feeling suicidal. She brought her to the ER only to find out it wasn’t deemed an “emergency” and, therefore, she had to go home and call for an appointment…that couldn’t be scheduled until 6-8 weeks out.

If someone was having a blood sugar issue and was possibly diabetic, would they be told to go home and wait and make an appointment for 6 weeks out?

If someone was having chest pains, would they be told they don’t have any heart specialists in the ER and to go home and make an appointment for 6 weeks out with a cardiologist?

What is wrong with our healthcare system?

Why does it seem that in American, certain people are expendable?

*This post is dedicated to Adrienne and Casey and all the other people in my life who, along with me, have suffered a mental disorder and who are NOT throw-away people.