According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, it has been found that about 1 in 5 Americans have experienced or will experience a mental health issue. Additionally, 1 in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness. Mental health has always been around, but it is not until very recently that it has been acknowledged. In earlier times, a lot of different cultures thought that mental illness was related to religion. Consequently, treatment also involved religion and techniques around superstition. It was philosopher Hippocrates who was the first one to change and adapt to new ways of treating patients with mental illness. Instead of using religion, he employed changing the environment and medication for the patient. The battle for better conditions and opportunities for people with mental illness has been an ongoing one. And although we have miles to go, we, as a society, have made tremendous leaps in the right direction.
Currently there are many different organizations that are funded by the government for research and treatment for mental health. There has been a rise in governmental initiatives as well to improve the mental health care system of the United States. A prime example of this is mental health is now covered under insurance plans whereas before, it was not. Furthermore, there are several bills that are at hand in both the senate and the house that aim to: “Improve integration of mental and physical health care, promote early intervention in the treatment of psychosis and use of evidence-based interventions, and Provide resources for suicide prevention” (NAMI.org, 2017).
If you or someone you know are suffering from a mental illness, don’t delay; Get help right away. There are a number of resources online and in print to help you identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness. A great resource you can utilize is mentalhealth.gov where you can find the basic information and how to get help. And keep in mind that recovery is possible. As is gaining control of your life and achieving your goals.