Every single day there is something going on. One day its national sibling day, the next day its national handbag day, and so on and so forth. But in spite of the days coming and going, there is one in particular that needs to be recognized for more than just the day in which it is actually recognized… And that is National Mental Health Day, a day solely focused on mental illness and health. So here’s to yet another blog focused on the positives and negatives associated with mental health care in America, and not only why there are flaws with the system, but what we can do to fix these issues. The reasons I do so is because there is no physical health without mental health, and without physical health, there is no happiness nor healthy generations to come.
Although mental health issues have been present for quite some time, National Mental Health Day was “developed” just in 1992, in order to create conversation around mental health rather than keeping the issue hidden. And although some conversations have been started, and some REPUTABLE organizations have been developed in the hopes of helping the “spread” of mental illness, not much has been HELPFUL in regards to the prevention and treatment of mental illness. But before we get into that, let me go on quickly about the positives of this movement and the impact it has today.
Before I bash many of the systems related to getting any kinds of help and/or treatment for a mental illness, I felt that it only right to discuss the good things about the day, and about its celebration today. So first off, this day is a great idea as it does allow the RECOGNITION of mental illness within the United States and other countries as well. Having a day focused purely on mental health allows those who may struggle with mental health diseases to feel less isolated, as they know they are not the only ones who suffer from day to day. If taken seriously, the day also allows an opportunity in which to raise Awareness as to what some of the mental illnesses may be, and ways in which to better detect such disorders in your friends and/or family members. It also Encourages others to talk about their own mental illnesses as a way in to bring not only support to those who may also suffer. By opening up this kind of conversation, more individuals are likely to be helped, rather than suffering day-in-and-day out in isolation. But in spite of the several positives, I feel that there are also many negatives to this day.
As I mentioned before, there are many things which make me upset about this day. For starters, this is just one day and not an everyday event. Bringing awareness to such a major issue within the world requires more than just a day or lapse in time. The other thing that makes me upset is the fact that national mental health day seems just like a bandaid to the world. A bandaid which looks as though the world is doing something to help the people, but in all reality, doing nothing important, as many of the mental illness is not even PREVENTED and/or TREATED. The truth of the matter is that the world is not often too concerned with how to prevent and/or treat their citizens who do suffer from mental illnesses.
Although the government makes it look like they help in the prevention of mental illness by the exterior (by coming up with a day devoted to National Mental Health), I often question as to what they truly do on the interior side of things to prevent such illness?
Although mental illness is a side effect of biological, psychological, and environmental factors, only biological and physhological factors are often “attacked” in the pursuit to end mental illness, most likely because of MONEY. Think about it…
Every single day you turn on the television or flip through a magazine to read or see about xx prescription meant for treating depression or anxiety. And then you look at any insurance or .gov site about any type of mental illness only to be guided to see a professional. You are not given the help in actually finding treatment, let alone treatment that you can afford and treatment that will actually be helpful based on who you are as an individual rather than what has been proven to help others. You are not given a break in terms of the stressors in your life, such as the need to excel in college and to find a job immediately following college to pay off such high debts. You are not given a break in terms of the stressors relevant to affording ridiciculous payments for health insurance and for taxes, none of which that help you out, but help others out.
On the other hand, what you are given is a slew of advertisements. Advertisements dedicated on making you feel insecure about yourself without xx product. Advertisements that make you believe that you need xx alcohol to attract the other sex or to be “fun.” Advertisements that tell you that you need this makeup to look pretty. Advertisements that tell you that you need xx clothes that cost xx money in order to fit in with the rest of society. And besides this,you are also thrown out a variety of publications, some which are true and some false about how you should and shouldn’t eat, exercise, etc. in order to be healthy. And the fact of the matter is that many of them, especially those by the FDA (whom claim that diet foods are healthy) are often wrong and oftentimes HELP the OCCURRENCE of EATING DISORDERS.
As you can see, the government is not making the lives of others less stressful nor teaching ways to better handle high-stressful lives, unless that means by medication. They are not preventing the publication of misinformation published by the FDA nor teaching its future dietitians the up and coming knowledge, which the world needs greatly. And besides all of this, the government makes health insurance a necessity, promotes medical guidelines which prevent those whom want and need help from getting it, and even allow advertisements which enable more mental health issues to pursue.
So what can be done to stop mental illness from taking over our society as we now it, and from ruining future generations to come?
So my point of writing this is not only to bash the systems which allow mental illness to develop and thrive, but also to speak of things that could be made better…
- First of all, one of the main things which needs to take place is more frequent bouts of recognition and discussion of mental illness than just the one national day. In order to prevent and to help those who suffer from such illnesses, we need to be able to not only recognize the symptoms, but also to reduce the stigmas as well.
- Second thing we need to do as a society is to rid ourselves from following the old ways of following xx guidelines, as many of the times, this treatment does not work. (I mean, why do you think that the majority of people whom struggle from anorexia have to return back to “treatment”). In my opinion, we need to stop this INSANITY and to recognize that each individual is different.
- Next thing we need to do is to make it less expensive to get the proper care that we know will help based off of whom we are as a person. If inpatient therapy in a hospital setting isn’t helping us function, then why not try something else, such as IIFYM or even something else that could?
- We need to do something to PREVENT the stress of future generations from worsening, and to also teach of ways in which to better handle the stress.
- We need to monitor the advertisements for products and the products themselves. And even if this is not possible, then we need to teach our future generations the ways in which they are perceived by advertisers and show them of ways in which to monitor what messages they receive.
- One more thing, but we just need to relate to one another. To stop hiding from our imperfections whether it be a mental or physical illness. By sharing our stories, we initiate a revolution, one in which can cause others not only to tell their stories, but also one in which others are more likely to listen, thus preventing them from the same experiences.
With that said, it may seem like a long shot, but why not just try and to change one? One change can make the greatest difference, and who knows, maybe we will be able to DECREASE the presence of mental illness in the next twenty-four years to come rather than have problems INCREASE.
With Love Always,