Mae S. Massachusetts

Mental Health and Illness

The plight of mental illness is too often ignored. We need to take action to help those in need.

Dear New President:

In our country, there are citizens who struggle with severe mental illness. Though millions of people are suffering due to mental health issues, mental illness is often treated as less than physical illnesses or injuries. When in reality, these people need medical help and care just as much as somebody with a physical health problem. I think that you, our new president, should have obligation to invest in more resources for the treatment of mental illness, and encourage insurers to pay more attention to mental health providers. It is a necessary action to help the people of our country recover from the plight of mental issues.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 40 million adults in the USA deal with mental illness each year. Though insurers in the US have been required to cover mental health since 2008, as the article Hope for Americans with mental illness stated, “Many mental health patients are forgoing treatment or struggling to pay for the care on their own.” Clearly, this is an issue. A person who is not mentally stable will have trouble attending school or work. As the article How Workplace Mental Health Affects Your Bottom Line by Bronwen Keyes-bevan states,“Failing to consider workers' mental health is detrimental to both staff wellbeing and an organization's bottom line.”

A mentally unhealthy population cannot devote time and energy to helping their community and country. But not only is untreated mental illness a limit on productivity, but the World Health Organization estimates that roughly 14% of global disease is in some way attributed to mental illness.

Despite the importance of mental health, many people still believe that this is not a concern worthy of action from the government. According to the article Hope for Americans with mental illness, providing resources and housing for mental treatment on college campuses would cost over $50 million. Then it would cost $5 billion for the creation and maintenance of community health centers over 10 years. As well, it would be difficult to convince congress to pay for this project. While these are true, it is also true that a country, we lose almost a trillion dollars a year due to the loss of able workers caused by untreated depression and anxiety (according to the article Mental illness is as much of a global threat as infectious disease). As well, we could save over $48 billion in just the first year of having investing in more care for mental health. As the article named previously states, “Human resources are the most important resources for any country's development. And unless we have mentally healthy population, which can devote its energies and intellect to the economic development of the country, you are missing a whole lot of development potential.”

As you can see, mental health is a very important component of a healthy, functioning citizen. And it is very important that we take action to provide more care for mental illness. As a country, we need to address the extremity of these health issues. It’s time to give these people the help and care that they need, to craft a better future for the USA.


Mae Sweeney

Glenbrook Middle School

Grade 7 English Language Arts

The seventh grade students have researched, discussed, and thought carefully about a variety of issues that challenge our nation and the next president. Here are their thoughts about what the next president must do to improve our country and all of our lives.

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