Exploring the Need for Better Mental Health Programs in Our Communities

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So many of the problems we now face in our communities seem to stem from the need for better mental health programs. Many areas of the country have seen extreme cutbacks in budgets, leaving underserved communities and other communities with no mental health services whatsoever. Instead of looking at all the problems our communities are dealing with, perhaps it’s time to look at how mental health counseling could alleviate so very many of these issues we are having.

Jails Filled Beyond Capacity as a Result of Mental Illness

One of the things which so many mental health professionals have long understood is that so many of the people populating our jails and prisons have mental health issues. They are not inherently criminals but rather in need of some serious counseling. Some of these inmates have no formal education beyond middle school and come from broken families. A large number of inmates are from lower socioeconomic spheres and never had the encouragement to make more of their lives. Unfortunately, even though local law enforcement understand that many inmates have mental health issues, there is no funding in their community for mental health facilities and so jail houses are used for these people who may present a danger to themselves or others, at least temporarily.

Substance Abuse Often Rooted in Mental Illness

It has also long been known that much of the drug addiction in our country is the result of addicts trying to self-medicate. Those who study for a mental health certificate online look at statistics that keep climbing by the day. Drug abuse is a growing problem in almost every developed nation in the world and it is a proven fact that there just aren’t enough mental health counsellors specializing in addiction to go around. Maybe it’s time the world took a long look at these statistics to provide better resources for addicts instead of leaving them on the streets or incarcerated in our prisons. Believe it or not, treatment for drug addiction falls within the realm of mental health as there is often a definite connection.

Stress a Leading Cause of Depression

Ever since 2008 when the bottom fell out of the economy and a greater number of consumers became unemployed, stress levels have risen significantly. As a parent with children to house, feed and clothe, not having an income is beyond what is considered to be a normal amount of stress parents face. While the economy is recovering by the day, there are still huge numbers of people still unemployed and with benefits running out, the stress of making ends meet is beyond what they can handle. Stress is the leading cause of so many systemic illnesses as well and why it is vital for communities to re-examine the need for mental health facilities, in-patient and out, to handle the number of people stressing over everyday life in poverty.

Many of the ills we see in society could be better addressed by adding mental health counselling to the social services already in place. We owe it to the communities we serve to offer the services needed for people suffering mental health issues to get the help they need. Whether you are a government official seeking ways to better your community or a student looking for a major in college, examining the need for better mental health programs in our communities should be a top priority.

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