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Navigating Our Mental Health Problem

Decent Essays
Navigating Our Mental Health Problem
Wesley W. Austin
HCA 450A
Warner Pacific College
June 18, 2015 Abstract The object of this paper is to shed light on the seriousness of mental illness and it is statistically affecting the United States. The history of how the mentally ill have been treated in this country will be discussed, followed by how we got to our current situation with a lack of treatment and an epidemic of mentally ill homeless people as well as, how the police are trained, or not trained and what can be done to improve upon it, and how our military funding has failed our veterans. Then the paper will take a look at how stigma has shaped how the public views mental illness, and how it shaped the writers young life.
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Untreated mental health issues have many different outcomes, including homelessness, withdrawal from social activities and other people, and unfortunately suicide. Minorities are even more at risk as it is proven that they are becoming increasingly less likely to use mental health services when they are needed. Both Hispanics and African-American seek mental health treatment at half the rate of Caucasians in the United States, and Asians only seek treatment at about a third of the rate of Caucasians. African-Americans are also less likely to seek mental health care the more they are educated, while Caucasians see increased usage with higher education. Suicide rates have also climbed with minorities, with Hispanic girls in their teens having a 60 percent higher rate of suicide than their Caucasian counterparts. Culture and stigma about mental health are part of the problem. “A lot of immigrant families don’t feel comfortable turning to counseling services because there might not be someone there who will understood them and some of the unique cultural issues they face.” (PBS, Resources: Minorities and Mental Health, 2009). It is not only the severely mentally ill and minorities that are lacking in receiving the care they need, depression is huge
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