Mental Illness Is Defined At The Federal Level

1130 Words5 Pages
Mental disorders can affect individuals in different ways. They can cause changes in an individual’s mood, behavior, and especially in their thoughts. This can greatly affect how an individual might relate to others, and also factor into the life choices that they make. Individuals who suffer from severe mental illnesses (SMI’s) are at a greater disadvantage than other individuals. Severe mental illness is defined at the federal level as “having, at any time during the past year, a diagnosable mental, behavior, or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.”1. These can include mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, bipolar…show more content…
Between the years of 200-2010, the suicide rate among individuals never having served in the military was 5.2, and 20.9 per 100,000 for females and males respectively. When comparing these same years among veterans of the military, the numbers increase to 28.7, and 32.1 for females and males respectively per 100,000 people. Every day, there are between 18-22 veteran suicides7. As a whole, people with severe mental illnesses die an average of 33 years younger than those individuals who do not suffer from an SMI. Individuals who suffer from severe mental illnesses can have trouble with simple everyday tasks such as brushing their teeth, cleaning themselves, working, and many others. In addition, they may also have problems beginning and maintaining relationships, sleeping, increased anxieties and fears, and trouble maintaining their independence. Many of these individuals also have problems which are exacerbated by the type, and amount of medication that they may be taking. This interaction may make the above symptoms, and many others like it, worse. When this happens, the individuals’ ability to take care of themselves, or others, is severely limited as many of them become more withdrawn from society. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had many detractors, one of the benefits was to address behavioral health issues. The ACA established 10 essential health benefits which all medical insurers must cover. These benefits are ambulatory
Open Document