Advocacy and the Mentally Ill Summer Fleming BSHS/442 January 13, 2014 Dr. Elizabeth Thompson Advocacy and the Mentally Ill The American mentally ill population faces numerous barriers to acquiring basic services that those without mental illness receive daily. Advocating for the mentally ill population gives a voice to those who cannot voice their problems or may not know how. Mental illness is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. Individuals who are not properly diagnosed cannot receive necessary medical treatment which can help them live normal lives. When needed medical treatment is not made available, those who suffer often end up homeless, and frequently cycle in, and out of the judicial system because their …show more content…
Integrating new policies that require employers to treat someone suffering from mental illness the same way they treat someone suffering with physical illness has not come easily. A history of overlooking mental illness, or mistaking it for what has often been called “stress” in the workplace makes the process of helping to change the past negative thoughts often associated with mental illness a slow process. In essence, these new policies are requiring organizations to change the way think, which is not always easy given decades of false and misleading information about mental illness. Evolution of Advocacy Advocacy had evolved into its own specialized field just like medicine and politics, for example. It has gone from centuries past when someone first made the decision that someone needed assistance that person should have been getting but was not, so an idea was put into action to help that person get that assistance. Whatever that need may have been, or that idea or the century may never be known. Maybe a neighbor noticed that his or her widowed neighbor was only able to provide a meal for her children just a couple times a week. So it was decided that if business owners were asked to offer up one five cents a week, that widow would be able to feed her children daily. This may be a long
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
According to the World Health Organization, mental illness will affect approximately 25% of people at some point in their life (“WHO Qualityrights”, n.d.). Despite that, the current mental health care system in the United States is inadequate. Many aspects of the system need improving, especially the barriers to service. In fact, approximately 20% of individuals are left without necessary treatment for their mental health disorder (“Mental Health”, 2016). Mentally ill individuals have difficulty accessing necessary mental health care services for various reasons; insurance, socioeconomic status, and mental health stigma can all function as barriers to treatment. Insurance discrimination can make it difficult for individuals to find treatment (Han, Call, Pintor, Alarcon-Espinoza, & Simon, 2015). Gaps in insurance coverage can also be a barrier, as they disrupt the long-term treatment process (Gulley, Rasch, & Chan 2011). Socioeconomic status has been found to negatively affect appointment scheduling (Kugelmass, 2016). Finally, stigma in our society can also stop people from seeking out treatment that they need (Bathje & Pryor, 2011). The mental health system in the United States is not capable of caring for the mentally ill, as insurance, socioeconomic status, and perceived stigma all act as barriers that prevent people from receiving the treatment they need.
Due to the State of California cutting back on spending towards people with mental illnesses it affected a lot of people. Some of the people with a mental illness could no longer cover the costs to care for themselves and ended up becoming homeless because of it. Mental health is a serious concern in communities that needs to get resolved or worked on rather than cutting back funding for this issue. In California alone “more than 2 million children, adults, and seniors are affected by potentially disabling mental illnesses every year in California” (mhsoac.ca.gov). There should be adequate funding to make sure that people diagnosed with a mental illness and can
Many people with mental illnesses try to hide their mental illness when applying for a job. Research from Mind released on May 16, 2011 found that one in five people who had disclosed their mental illness had been sacked or forced out of their jobs. This shows how most employers don’t want to hire people with mental illness. People with mental illnesses often intimidate employers because they often believe they could be a liability. But in reality although people have a mental illness there are quite a few jobs they are easily capable of doing and we should encourage their interest in working if they are capable of performing the job correctly. According to Psychology Today there are still attitudes within most societies that view symptoms of psychopathology as threatening and uncomfortable, and these attitudes frequently foster stigma and discrimination toward people with mental health problems. People's views on mental illness have been commonly portrayed through the mainstream media in an unpleasant way. This makes life more difficult for people with mental illnesses because this leads to discrimination by others. We should all erase the portrayal of people with mental illnesses, especially employers. If we are going to make opinions of people especially with mental illnesses then we should first do research on their condition.
This "background study examines how individuals with mental illness are handled and treated in the criminal justice system and discusses the suggestions of unsatisfactory or inadequate care for these individuals. In particular, the main objectives are to review current practice in the processing of mentally ill offenders, assess the societal and economic costs associated with recidivism and insufficient care for this population, and highlight promising strategies to tackle challenges involved in the reintegration of mentally ill offenders into society".
Many Americans have started to realize the need for better assistance for the mentally ill patients, as there as been ridiculously the amount of innocent people losing their lives due to them, and how they are a danger to themselves as well. Every week there is shocking incidents popping up on the news. Incidents such as homicide, gang violence, murder, school shootings, suicides, and much more is happening in our country. All of this is happening because we are not providing the much assistance to the mentally ill patients as we can.
In the discussion panel of “Minds on the Edge: Facing Mental Illness - A Fred Friendly Seminar,” we are presented with the cases of two individuals who suffer from mental illness and the mental health system that is in place failed to provide them the help they needed. The mental heath system that is currently in place fails mentally ill individuals tremendously. There is not a safety net to provide individuals with the necessary help when they are at a beginning stage of the illness. The healthcare system waits until the mentally ill becomes an imminent threat to society to provide the treatment needed. Nowadays, police officers and judges come in contact with the mentally ill more often than psychologists or psychiatrists. This is due to
This is not to suggest that our standards for mental health have remained stagnant. 40 years ago, a person with schizophrenia would likely have been jailed or institutionalized, with the condition blamed on the cold treatment of the person’s mother. Today, thanks to improved ethics and medical care, that same person might well be a functioning member of society. But these advancements do not excuse the fact that, as of 2017, people with mental illness are disproportionately likely to be homeless, in prison, or unemployed (NCH
Mental health care in the United States is in an abysmal state, and yet the government hasn’t take action to fix it. Individuals suffering from serious mental illness are more likely to be incarcerated than to be receiving care in a psychiatric hospital. Perpetrators of mass shootings are often suffering from mental illness, and don’t receive help despite many warning signs. Homeless people are often suffering from mental illness, and many are “frequent flyers,” going in and out of prison often. Americans need to take a stand and let our government know that mental health care needs to be a priority. It is in the best interest
The healthcare industry has an obligation to protect and advocate for all people with mental health conditions. Over the years they have lacked what they can do for those people and in turn has caused a lot of problems with business who provide treatment and causing some to shut down. Bill (H.R.2646) also known as The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016 will fix a plethora of provisions that will make it easier to access different medical health care advancements in facilities. But before we can fully delve into the, Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016, and its impact on the healthcare business industry, we must first understand what Mental Health is, it’s Crisis and the board population affected. According to WHO (World Health Organization), mental health is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". WHO stresses that mental health "is not just the absence of mental disorder". Mental health sums up our emotional, psychological and social well being. Once you experience mental health problems, they can come across and affect you in ways such as your thinking, your behavior and mood. Your ability to handle certain social situations become harder and harder.
The author still finds this topic of mental health policy extremely interesting. With her own personal stakes in this policy she hopes she will be able to better advocate for individuals like herself. The population of the mentally ill are definitely being neglected. While we do have laws to prevent from discrimination due to one’s mental health status is frowned upon. We are not helping these individuals reach their full potential that may be inhibited by their mental status.
The relative silence surrounding mental illness in the community is a major obstacle that must be overcome. Although a significant percentage of the population deals with mental illness, there is a stigma associated with it that prevents access to care. Mental illness is discussed in the entertainment industry, through community scandals, and within commercial sources, but open public dialog about the promotion of responsible recovery is missing. The dangers of not discussing mental illness outweigh any possible advantages of silence. This program will bring a voice to the silent community.
Advocacy is a political process by an individual or organization, which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy work can include many activities that you and your organization embarks upon including media campaigns, public speaking, publishing research, or the filing of an amicus brief.
But according to recent studies, too few Americans actually know of this practice (“Dealing With Mental Health”). The lack of openness about mental illness and health laws perpetuates stigma in the workforce and lets the workers’ health and productivity decline. This appeal to workers rely on a fair degree of empathy, so let’s look at the issue from a business perspective to equate why stigma preventing treatment causes losses in the office. Mental illness costs United States businesses an over $105 billion loss in productivity annually. In addition, the total loss of work days amount to 35 million every year as a result of absence due to improperly treated mental illness and substance abuse. Yet out of the 61 million adults who experience this loss due to mental illness, only 60% get help for their problem. Behavioral mental illness amounts for the reason 40% of the time and of that 40%, only 70% do not receive proper treatment to cope with such illness (“Dealing With Mental Health”). And the amount of people put off of work due to these issues only rises in the social office space with their superiors referring them to screenings and behavioral reeducation areas. Naturally, companies admit that the amount of cases remains high – with depression and substance abuse disorders at most prevalent in these cases. With these startling statistics, it comes to no surprise that the Journal of the American Medical Association believes that mental illnesses
Accepted definitions of advocacy depend largely on the perspective of the researcher and its application. It has been discussed extensively in an array of disciplines, amongst them, social work, law, communications, government relations and marketing.
In the United States, individuals with mental illness have an unemployment rate of 60-80% compared to the overall unemployment rate of 8-10% (Chang, 2015). However, this high unemployment rate does not reflect an unwilling labor force, as many individuals with mental illness state a desire for employment (Henry & Lucca, 2004). Individuals with mental illness face stigma from multiple sources surrounding employment such as care givers, employers, and coworkers. Mental illness care givers are often contributors to stigma surrounding mental illness, and can cause low self-esteem in those they care for. This low self-esteem exacerbates the struggles individuals with mental illness experience in the work place, and contributes to their unemployment (Henry & Lucca, 2004). Individuals with mental illness encounter discrimination during the hiring process and in the types of jobs they are offered (Tsang, Angell & Corrigan, 2007; Henry & Lucca, 2004). Finally, individuals with mental illness often suffer from unsupportive work environments, which can contribute to longer recovery times since meaningful employment is an important aspect of mental illness treatment (Chang, 2015; Gold, Macias & Rodican, 2016). Mental illness stigma from care givers, employers, and coworkers must be eliminated because it contributes to unemployment.