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Mental Health Crisis in America

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Mental Health Crisis in America

Americans across the country are grappling with an ongoing mental health crisis that shows no signs of abating. It is an epidemic that impacts not only those affected by it, but also their families and loved ones.

The pandemic, driven by social stressors like climate change, political division and gun violence, has left many Americans feeling depressed, anxious and isolated. It is also disrupting work, education, healthcare services, the economy and relationships.

There is an increasing array of resources and solutions that can help address this crisis, such as more mental health professionals in schools, colleges and universities, along with expanded access to effective treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The President has made it his priority to enhance mental health support services so people can better cope with their everyday struggles.

Due to this growing need for mental health services, demand has never been higher. A recent CNN/KFF survey finds that nearly six in 10 adults (56%) either seek or plan to seek these services for themselves or someone close to them.

Yet even though Americans recognize the significance of mental health, they often do not receive the care they need. A survey revealed that most who experience a mental health issue do not seek treatment due to reasons such as work/family commitments, healthcare costs, fear or embarrassment.

Additionally, most people who seek mental health care do not get the assistance they require in a timely manner. The survey revealed that more than half of those affected by mental health issues did not receive necessary treatment from their primary care physician.

The KFF/CNN survey sought to understand how Americans perceive their mental health, their capacity for seeking help and the resources available. It involved interviews with more than 1,400 adults from various backgrounds, with particular attention paid to those who reported having the most difficulty managing their wellbeing.

According to the survey, most Americans believe the lack of mental health providers, insurers not covering it the same way physical health insurance does and the high cost of treatment are all major issues. More than six in 10 believe it to be a serious issue while three out of five say it’s only a minor concern.

Despite these findings, the United States still has a long way to go in combatting this problem. A national strategy that addresses this crisis is urgently required.

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America and it’s second leading cause for young women. In 2017, there were over 7,000 suicides per day across America.

In response to the rising number of mental health issues, the Administration is investing $2.5 billion in funding to expand access to proven treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. These interventions have been shown to reduce distress associated with mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, trauma and substance use. Furthermore, the Administration plans on doubling school-based mental health professionals through ESSER funds used for recruitment, training and retention by schools.

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