Mental health advocates in the United States are scrambling to find ways to help the millions of Americans who are living with mental illness.
Mental health experts are in a rush to help Americans who have been left with mental illnesses, and are working to find a way to treat them when they need it most.
A few years ago, mental health advocates like Amanda Kinsman, founder of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, were worried about what would happen if the country went over the edge.
Now, with the number of people with mental disorders rising, she says she’s confident we’ll soon have enough resources to treat the millions who suffer from it.
“People who are depressed, or people with anxiety or bipolar, or anxiety and depression are the most at risk for suicide, so we’re trying to get people who need treatment to get it,” Kinsmann told Business Insider.
Mental Health Experts Are Still Struggling As the numbers of people living with a mental illness continue to rise, there are still people who have trouble coping.
That’s because, while the country has seen a marked improvement in mental health in recent years, many of the problems in our society, including mental illness, still persist.
As we continue to work to prevent people from getting hurt or killed by others, we can’t ignore the fact that we can never hope to completely stop people from being harmed or killed, says Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a mental health expert at Columbia University.
“We have to make sure that we have a mental infrastructure that works for people who are in the community and for those who are not,” she told Business Insider.
“So I think it’s important to acknowledge that these are all real, pressing issues, and we have to do something about them.”
A lot of what mental health experts see as the future of mental health is a struggle to reach out to the communities that need it.
Many mental health services are currently provided in public housing, and many of these housing communities are still in the process of transitioning to assisted living, which allows people to live in housing while they’re receiving services, but not necessarily receive the care they need.
In the future, many people with a history of mental illness are likely to face stigma or isolation from their families and communities, making it hard for them to get the help they need, Loftus says.
But mental health advocacy groups say it’s critical that they work with people who currently live in those same communities to find the right kind of support.
“In the last five years, we have been able to really change the landscape for people living in these communities and to provide those services, and now we’re really focused on getting people who don’t have the support they need in the housing community,” Loftus said.
The U.S. has a lot of problems, but it’s also got the potential to be a model for other countries, said Loftus.
“This is an opportunity for the U.K., the U, and Canada, and they can take these ideas, and apply them here in the U., and see how we can do the same thing in a way that works better for the American people,” she said.
“If we get to a place where people are living in the same housing that they’re living in now, it’s not only going to help reduce the number who get suicidal, but the number in this country who do get suicidal.”