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Essay On Helping Families In Mental Crisis

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Helping Families in Mental Crisis

It can happen unexpectedly and possibly without warning to anyone. In fact, 1 in 5 adults will experience mental illness in a given year. That is 18.5 percent of adults in the U.S. and the numbers are growing as it becomes more recognized and stigma wears away. This is a staggering number. 1.1% of Adults in the U.S. are diagnosed with schizophrenia, that is over 3 million people, and 2.6% of Americans are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Family members and caregivers to patients over 18 years of age suffering with mental illness are often barred from being informed and cannot get important information about their loved one’s diagnosis, medications, and/ or future appointments through the hospital.
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Those who would oppose this bill see it as a dangerous stepping stone toward much more Orwellian laws. They argue that if we can allow consent to be disregarded when someone is labeled as having “serious mental illness”, these laws could become construed or abused. Medically, serious mental illness in this case is defined as a functional impairment of the individual that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities of the individual. This is argued as being too open ended, that as stated many who can still make informed choices about their care will be at risk of having their right to privacy taken from them. Here is where I disagree. This bill makes sure to include many conditions to provide a counter-balance and protect patients from these possible abuses. These five conditions must be met and proved before any information can be shared without patient consent according to the Act. First, only if disclosure is necessary to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the individual or general public. The second condition being if the information to be disclosed will be beneficial to the treatment of the individual if that individual has a co-occurring acute or chronic medical illness. Next if the information to be disclosed is needed for the continuity of treatment of the medical condition or mental illness of the individual. If the absence of such information or treatment will
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