Dear Next President,
Did you know that only about 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received health services in the past year? That is far too little of a percentage. I think that there should be more resources from the government to help people with mental illness. People should get these resources before they end up in prisons or take their own life because their illness was too severe.
People who have some sort of mental illness sometimes end up in prisons. In the article “Persons with severe mental illness in jails and prisons” by H. Richard Lamb “About 30-35% of people who end up in prisons have some sort of severe mental illness.” Usually, it’s because of offenses such as substance abuse, trespassing, or loitering. Sometimes these people end up in jail because they weren’t able to access resources that are able to help them. There is limited availability of mental health professionals and programs to help people. If there were more programs to help people with mental health problems then a lot of them would not end up in jails.
Many people with an extreme mental illness can end up harming themselves. In 2015 more than 42,000 people committed suicide. According to the NAMI “More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental illness.” Many children feel that they just aren’t going to get better or that they have nowhere else to turn to and that they should just end it all. In reality, you can get help and sometimes it’s the cost of it that’s the main problem. Antidepressants can cost about $100 a month and regular $50 to $240 for a one-hour session. If you don’t have insurance this is very expensive. If costs for resources were not as high then people could get help before they do something to harm themselves or others.
Future president, there should be more resources for people with mental illness, so they do not end up killing themselves or in jail. One way would be offering more government paid programs that focus on mental health. This way you could hire some psychiatrists that could help people for free for people with not much income. Also offer more screening for mental illnesses so people realize they have mental health problems. This way more people would realize they have issues before it is too late.