The country’s healthcare system has drastically improved over the past couple of decades. Subsidized healthcare has become one of the key factors in most presidential candidates’ platforms throughout the years. And since people have already started to become more aware and informed of the importance of mental health, the drive towards accessible mental healthcare has also been gaining traction.
But is it enough? Is the drive fast enough? And is mental healthcare accessible enough for everyone? Here are five important reasons why psychological care should have more government funding:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, suicide is America’s 10th leading cause of death. Their reports also state that the suicide rates between 1999 and 2019 have alarmingly increased by 33%, with a total of 47,500 recorded deaths in 2019 alone.
And contrary to popular belief, depression and other mental health issues that might lead to suicide do not discriminate. Mental illnesses know no age. It can affect people of all ages. Recent studies show that the second leading cause of death for people between 10 and 34 years old is suicide. And it is the fifth leading cause of death for those between the ages of 45 to 54.
But suicide is preventable. Having more options and easier access to mental healthcare can improve these statistics. More allocation of funds can help people ranging from students to the elderly.
Positive Effects on Physical Health
Psychosomatic disorders are real. There is a link between a person’s mental stability and physical health. Depression has been scientifically linked with increased risks of having rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and stroke. Studies show that clinical anxiety can trigger psoriasis and insomnia.
The stress hormones known as adrenaline and cortisol can both suppress the digestive system, as well as, increase heart rate and blood pressure. They can also negatively affect a person’s immune system.
Eating disorders are also perfect examples of mental disorders that directly affect a person’s physical health. Bulimia nervosa treatment centers have greatly helped teenagers and adults recover from what could have been a life-threatening condition. The emergence of more accessible centers and clinics that can cater to people with mental health illnesses can highly improve the physical health of the country.
Improvement in Workforce Productivity
People who have access to proper and consistent mental health support tend to have more focus and are more engaged with the tasks at hand.
There will be an increase in motivation as well. Companies with positive workplace culture usually have lower rates of absenteeism. Workplace communication will also be improved. People who are more mentally stable are also more open to communicating.
And as stated above, mental health can also drastically affect the physical capabilities of the workforce.
An increase in government funding doesn’t only help people with their mental health but also provides financial opportunities. From medical specialists to blue-collared workers, multiple jobs would be opened to the public.
Here are a few of the possible job positions that could be offered:
- School counselors
- Social workers
- Elderly care workers
- Administrative staff
- Janitorial and maintenance staff
- Security staff
Decrease in Crime Rates
According to a Stanford report, the rise in criminal involvement among low-income men is affected by the loss of access to mental health services.
From the conception of the legal system until now that people are more aware of the relationship between criminality and mental health, it can be said that the country’s legal system has been more focused on incarceration rather than the roots of criminality. And even if imprisonment can still be seen as a method of rehabilitation, prevention will always be better than cure.
The Bottom Line
More countries around the world have taken bigger steps in prioritizing mental healthcare. Australia has Beyond Blue. The United Kingdom has records of cross-party consensus of making mental health a legislation priority. Frontliners in Iraq have shown focused efforts in psychosocial emergency aid.
It can be said that mental healthcare does not only revolve around medical aid. It is enveloped by a bigger umbrella which is called human rights. It is a right of a citizen to be able to access medical support in all aspects of his or her health.
The world, this country included, is collectively adapting and innovating to shed more light and give more attention to mental healthcare. And although it can take time, slow progress is still progress.
But this will only work if everyone takes it upon themselves to become more socially responsible and actively participate in maintaining their mental health and that of those around them.