Megan L.

Mental Health in America

While many suffer from mental illness, especially in the United States, some citizens still aren't getting the proper help they need for their illness.

Dear Next President,

Welcome to the White House. I can imagine that you’re a bit nervous, being the new face of our nation, expected to be our country’s decision maker, someone who’ll only do right, and I believe that’s quite the stress on you. Even if you were willing to have this put on you, not many people can be truly ready for those sudden expectations. Especially if they suffer from anxiety every day of their life.

Anxiety disorder is one of hundreds of mental disorders, one that’s very common. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) writes, “Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adults. An estimated 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders. Only about one-third of those suffering from an anxiety disorder receive treatment, even though the disorders are highly treatable.”

If these problems are highly treatable, why are so many not getting help? Private services costs can range from around $50 to $240 for each one hour session, and only some are covered by insurance. There are cheaper costs, specifically for group therapy, yet different people have different needs, different kinds of therapy. Why are the costs inflated for those people in specifics?

The Affordable Care Act, mainly known as ObamaCare, has caused huge changes in fighting against mental illness. Louise Norris writes, “In 2013, a person with a bipolar diagnosis was unable to obtain private individual health insurance in most states. The same was true for people with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, anorexia, alcoholism, and a variety of other serious mental or behavioral illnesses. Even for people with relatively minor mental health diagnoses, health plans were allowed to increase premiums during the initial underwriting process.” Now, it’s easier for people to get access to these, but there are still problems.

Health insurance companies are still twice as likely to deny authorization for therapy or other mental health care, while in other states, mental health doctors are very scarce and limited, especially in rural areas, where addiction can be even more amplified, as there’s a connection between addiction and poorness. Wait times are also amplified, from a two to three month wait in rural areas.

So, how can we help this? Firstly, we need to force more health insurances to cover costs for mental health. Having mental health not covered by some insurances gives a bad feeling, as if mental problems aren’t as important as physical health. Secondly, we need hospitals, specifically mental hospitals and therapies to increase, especially in rural areas. People need to have access to these important needs, but it almost feels like others believe that having a good mind that won’t think of hurting itself is “too much” and “not worth it.” So, next president, I plead of you to fix these issues, and help more people get access to the care they need.


Megan Larkin

Works Cited

"How Much Does Therapy or Counseling Cost?" Depression RSS2. Informed Choices about Depression, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2016.

Norris, Louise. "How Obamacare Improved Mental Health Coverage." How Obamacare Improved Mental Health Coverage., 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 05 Oct. 2016.

"Understand the Facts." Understand the Facts | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, AADA. Anxiety and Depression Association of America, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2016.

Ripon High School

English I Honors

Students from Mrs. Valponi's English I Honors class

All letters from this group →