May is Mental Health Month
This month, we encourage you to take a moment to consider the social impact of mental health issues. Throughout America, people with mental illness experience extraordinary barriers. State-funded mental health programs are often understaffed and overwhelmed; research and development is often slow to introduce new treatments; private, individualized care is often expensive and inaccessible.
In our home state of Oklahoma, the Mental Health Association of Tulsa has offered a compelling “#mytruth” series, in which individuals describe the realities they face when dealing with mental health on the homefront.
On the national picture, a recently-released study from NYU shows that America’s mental health care system is eroding:
“The NYU Langone research team estimates that nearly one in 10 distressed Americans (9.5 percent) in 2014 still did not have health insurance that would give them access to a psychiatrist or counselor, a slight rise from 2006, when 9 percent lacked any insurance. About 10.5 percent in 2014 experienced delays in getting professional help due to insufficient mental health coverage, while 9.5 percent said they experienced such delays in 2006. And 9.9 percent could not afford to pay for their psychiatric medications in 2014, up from 8.7 percent in 2006.”
No matter where you live, please consider supporting local organizations that are attempting to better the quality of life for families affected by mental illness.