Dear Future President,
Mental health is a serious condition, but is commonly overlooked by American society and public officials. It is the responsibility of the next president to promote mental health treatment, awareness, and acceptance. Mental illness is a growing problem because it is constantly being undermined and ignored.
One main reason for the neglect to address mental illness in today’s society, is because of mental health stigmas. Many people view mental illness negatively and form negative connotations and opinions pertaining to this issue. For example, one commonly held belief is that mentally ill people are “dangers to society”; however, 1 in 4 Americans suffer from mental illness and many are unfairly judged because of these widespread stigmas and stereotypes. This often leads to discrimination and prejudice, instead of acceptance and help. People receiving treatment for a mental illness are no more violent or dangerous than anyone else.
Society needs to develop an educated and understanding view of mental illness in order to accept it. Mental illness symptoms, mentality, and treatment should be taught in schools. Awareness can help eliminate discrimination that is commonly seen in the workplace, schools, and even by health insurers.
Surprisingly, many insurance companies fail to cover forms of mental health treatment such as expensive medications or access to psychiatrists. Most mental illnesses are highly treatable. America has the advanced technology and medical means treat mentally ill but 45% go untreated. Untreated mental illness can result in homelessness, drug abuse, or violence. For these reasons, mental illness is negatively viewed, and consequently ignored and untreated. But should this national issue be ignored if it is true that only .005% of treated mentally ill people act out violently?
Despite attempts made by congressional acts, there are still many loopholes that allow insurance companies to deny coverage to those in need of treatment. I request that you address and reform mental health care in the U.S. Not only will improving access to treatment, benefit the individual, but it will also benefit society and prevent domestic violence and public shootings. I ask of the future president to acknowledge this issue and work towards mental health reform.
Numbers, By The. "NAMI." : National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.