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Let’s Talk Access to Mental Health Resources

Hi, all! 

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is the extent to which people can actually attain the help they need to get through mental illness and/or everyday stress and anxieties. People always preach how essential it is to get help and take the next step when it comes to addressing mental health struggles (including myself). But, unfortunately, access to mental health resources is not as easy as we would all like to think. 

So, give it a look if you are interested in more in-depth information.

Upon reading this, I really realized that mental illness is not properly accessible and/ or handled by our society. Despite having over 20 percent of adults in the US (as of 2020) struggling with mental-health-related problems, there is a still a remarkable lack of insurance coverage and total resources to assist the general population.

In the media, and in our day-to-day lives, we are encouraged to attend to our mental health through treatment, medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. It has become a widespread movement promoting awareness and change, something really necessary to help so many people. These efforts and social media-based campaigns, though, mean next to nothing if people finally seek help and are denied it by their circumstances. If they are economically unable to fund therapy or medication for their mental illness, is it morally-acceptable to send them back to square-one, to fend for themselves? No. It one-hundred percent contradicts all the efforts the mental health campaigns have made to help people who are struggling.

It is no secret that the nation struggles significantly with income disparity and economic inequalities. A problem in it of itself, this socioeconomic battle has widespread reprecussions far beyond typical expenses and lifestyles. It limits the extent to which people are at an equal opportunity to seek help for psychological and emotional struggles. It creates yet another barrier for people to pursue treatment, outside of just stigma, insecurity, and willingness.

I am thankful to be in a position where, despite insurance and systematic barriers to mental health resources, my family can financially support any obstacle that comes my way. It provides a sense of security and comfort I do not find in my own mental health battle. But, this is clearly an advantage that the majority of people do not get to enjoy - and for as long as this has been going on, I am absolutely stunned our society has not made more of an effort to provide a solution.

I believe the first step is recognizing the "medical necessity," as it is characterized by Hemangi Modi from AAMC, of mental health coverage and resources. This starts, once again, at a social and community level. If we as a society can finally recognize the severity and reality of mental illness, breaking down stigma and controversy, these industries, too, will make an effort to provide for the demands of the majority. It is hard, when people have been pushing for so long to make their voices heard. It definitely should have made a difference by now. But the world is not perfect, and we must continue to make the changes we know are necessary.

The next step comes at a professional and organizational level, meaning the industries and agencies running insurance, medical resources, and job funding must respond to this recognition of the mental health problem. From there, they may finally lessen the challenge to fund resources, find professionals, or be given attainable access to assistance.

Ultimately, I urge people to keep the conversation LOUD to make things finally change. We cannot, in good conscience, push people to seek help when we know the process to do so is so beyond difficult.

Thanks for reading, I encourage you to keep learning about the current socioeconomic state of our world. I know I will, because everyday I am discovering something new that I had been ignorant to, before.

And remember, no matter what medical/ professional help you may or may not get-- you are valid, you are loved, and there is always SOMEONE to talk to.

Taylor Hay :))


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