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Andy Gatson Research Paper

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Andy Gatson was always a difficult child, happy but easily frustrated. His emotional issues began to escalate as he grew into adolescence. His mother Joyce soon took notice and attempted to take action. “Gatson suspected that her son was depressed, but a counselor who saw him at 16 called it typical adolescent angst, and a psychiatrist who saw him a few years later prescribed a muscle relaxer and medication for his ulcer” (Reinhart). This was not the type of help Joyce had been hoping for, but there was not much else she could do. Despite seeking out professional help, it became too much for Andy and he took his own life just shy of his 21st birthday (Gatson). Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for many Americans. Although typical teenagers…show more content…
The stigma that surrounds mental illnesses and seeking help for mental problems along with the utter misunderstanding among parents, schools and health professionals concerning adolescent behavior were key factors that led to the unnecessary death of Andy and thousands of kids like him. Andy’s story is just one of many examples as to how the issue of ignoring mental illnesses can negatively affect individuals, especially the youth. One of the biggest issues related to these unchecked mental illnesses is suicide. Between the ages of 15 to 24, suicide is the second leading cause of death. The Center for Disease Control estimates that: “17% of students seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous 12 months, 13.6% of students made a plan about how they would attempt suicide in the…show more content…
According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health “ 65 percent of boys” and “75 percent of girls” in correctional facilities have “at least one mental illness” (NAMI). The study also shows that overall “70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness" (NAMI). This is a particularly dangerous situation for these individuals, as they are often thrown in with the general population rather than being given treatment. By ignoring these illnesses, the disabled will not only be forced to spend a good amount of time in prison, but also a good amount of time not getting proper treatment. These factors of suicide, high drop out rates, and unnecessary prison time show that many of the problems caused by mental health conditions could be easily avoided if only given the proper amount of care and
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