Mental Health / Blue board concept (Click for more)

There are many different people throughout the United the States that suffer from some type of mental health illness or disorder. Mental disorders are defined as patterns of various symptoms that negatively affects one’s behavior, cognition, or emotional balance according to the American Psychiatric Association (“Mental Disorders. Opposing Viewpoints). When a person’s academics, professional, and social live’s are being impacted by these mental disorders, the symptoms they carry are considered clinically significant. One of the biggest problems within the United States concerning mental health is the lack of importance due to the reduced funding by the new health care plans purposed. Another problem that seems to commonly occur with mental disorders is trying to detect when an individual has a mental health concern and gathering the necessary data to report people with these disorders. These problems must be addressed throughout the United States as well as within our government in order to ensure that people with mental health disorders are properly treated and cared for.

With the current change in political power within the United States, comes with a new Health care plan that is being funded by the government which includes care for people with mental health disorders. According to the article “People with Mental Illness will suffer under Proposed GOP Health Care Plans”, it states that the 1.3 million Americans with mental illness that got health care through the affordable health care act, would be cut by the new versions of Trumpcare over a span of a decade. This is very concerning because there were many with mental health illness that received care with the funding that was provided for them, under this new version of Health care those benefits would be gone which could cause many of those with mental illnesses to be in danger when in a crisis. The situation gets even worse when the topic of gun control is involved, according to the same article, people with mental illness that have violent pasts will no longer get the help they need which could cause concern. Gun violence has already been a major issue within the United States and trying to stop victims of mental illness that are associated with gun violence will be even harder. Better funding by government for people with mental health illness needs to happen in order to not only ensure they get help, but to also help ones with violent pasts that could be a danger to the public.

While Congress within the United States is working on restructuring the Affordable Care Act, one of the main concerns is of course the coverage of mental illness and the past has shown us previous government leaders haven’t felt it as important. Throughout the years, according to “Transforming Mental Health and Addiction Treatment”, during the Presidencies of both Bush and Obama, battles waged in Congress over getting health care coverage for people with mental illness and in 2013 Obama’s administration made it harder to get coverage when they implemented parity. This shows just how hard it is to get people aware of the severity of people with these disorders and how important it is to get this widespread issue relevant in Congress to get more help for these people. The article further goes on to explain that the new plan being  worked on by House Republicans is trying to improve health care for mental illness as well as those with pre-existing conditions, and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. This shows a positive side toward our current government as they are showing concern for not only those with mental illness, but with other medical issues and those that can’t afford insurance when they’re young adults. While there seems to still be some problems getting the new plan approved because of some issues not being properly addressed, it is important to see that there is positive change in addressing mental disorders and getting the proper treatment for those with mental illness.

One possible solution that could benefit people with mental illness and reduce it overall is by raising minimum wage in order to reduce financial stress among workers. This could potentially also affect the type of treatment people with mental illness get because they may be able to afford it. According to “How to Improve Mental Health in America: Raise the Minimum Wage”, they state researchers found that workers who got higher wages because of a minimum wage law in their country, they experienced improvement in their mental health and was the equivalent as taking an antidepressant medication. This could prove very useful in the United States because of the certain amount of people under financial stress and it could take some ease off of the health care concerns within the government. While this article encourages higher wages, it also stresses that help will still be needed from health care and government because getting mental health treatment in poorer areas in the United States is still difficult. The idea of raising minimum should be considered within the United States as a possible solution due to the possibility that people with mental health disorders could pay for their own treatments and financial struggles could be a cause of mental illness. Social media has played a huge in today’s society and getting information around the world is easier because of it. However, one study in Harvard University has been focusing on using Twitter to measure certain levels of mental health, and use that data to possibly diagnose people that may have mental health disorders. “We developed computational models to predict the emergence of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in Twitter users. Twitter data and details of depression history were collected from 204 individuals (105 depressed, 99 healthy).” (NewsRx). This could be extremely beneficial in detecting people with mental disorders earlier and getting them the proper treatment they need just by studying specific tweets that individuals send out. The news editors also concluded with “These methods suggest a data-driven, predictive approach for early screening and detection of mental illness.” (NewsRx). Having these options increase in the near future can be a huge benefit in predicting these mental disorders which can soften the severity of the situation. Mental health disorders are very common within the United States and should start being treated like the very concern they actually are by our own government. Government has been brushing over this important topic for years by not properly funding treatment for people with these disorders and allowing them to increase in numbers. Raising the minimum wage within the U.S. is one possible idea that government should look at as a counter to mental health disorders and a option to relieve financial struggles from these victims and avoid from cutting more funding from their treatment. Social media is being used by researchers to detect people with possible symptoms of mental health disorders and get them the proper treatment before it becomes severe. All of the problems addressed and solutions given should be widely considered by United States officials as the ongoing debate over what to do about mental health disorders is frustrating many and action should happen immediately for the sake of the public and their safety.

Works Cited

Gardner, Bill. “How to Improve Mental Health in America: Raise the Minimum Wage.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/NXCSYO935611839/OVIC?u=ranc95197&sid=OVIC&xid=abe63edf. Accessed 13 Sept. 2018. Originally published as “How to Improve Mental Health in America: Raise the Minimum Wage,” New Republic, 4 May 2016.

 

“Investigators from Harvard University Have Reported New Data on Mental Health (Forecasting the onset and course of mental illness with Twitter data).” Mental Health Weekly Digest, 30 Oct. 2017, p. 203. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A511984005/OVIC?u=ranc95197&sid=OVIC&xid=bfa4bd28. Accessed 13 Sept. 2018.

 

“Mental Disorders.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC3010999277/OVIC?u=ranc95197&sid=OVIC&xid=8a0b5134. Accessed 13 Sept. 2018.

 

Murphy, Tim. “Transforming mental health and addiction treatment.” Hill, 16 Mar. 2017, p. 18. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A495476649/OVIC?u=ranc95197&sid=OVIC&xid=b099b0e3. Accessed 13 Sept. 2018.

Warnke, Melissa Batchelor. “People with Mental Illness Will Suffer under Proposed GOP Health Care Plans.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/ILHELS053651398/OVIC?u=ranc95197&sid=OVIC&xid=20001e8b. Accessed 13 Sept. 2018. Originally published as “As depression, anxiety and suicide skyrocket, the GOP wants to gut our mental health coverage,” Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2017.

Photography:

Lou, Michelle. “New York, Virgina Become First States to Mandate Mental Health Education.” huffpost, U.S. News, July 2, 2018, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-virginia-mental-health-education-laws_us_5b3a7a5de4b09e4a8b26293a