Kaylee M. Indiana

The Silent Suffering

A look at how underfunding has caused many to suffer in silence with mental illness.

Dear President,

I know that most people are writing to you about police brutality, the cost of college, immigration etc. All of these things are important in their own right, however today I would like to talk to you about something that affects 1 in 5 adults, 1 in 5 children, and 1 in 4 teenagers. Mental illnesses affect over 20% of our population and most people don’t even consider have a mental illness as being sick. This is over 20% of the American people that have been identified with mental illnesses not those who haven’t been diagnosed. 41% of the American populations living with mental illnesses have sought out proper mental health treatment. Thousands of people go undiagnosed each year and it is not only them that are suffering because of it. Our economy is also suffering. Every year the United States loses $193.2 billion in earnings as a result of mental illnesses. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.

I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and C-PTSD. I struggle getting out of bed every morning because I don’t have the energy or the tools to help me cope. My parents didn’t understand the severity of my situation. They didn’t understand that having mental illnesses was an actual sickness not something that is made up. Taking a look at MRI’s of a healthy brain and one of a depressed brain there is noticeable differences in the brain’s appearance and function. I know my parents love me and they want the best for me as parents do, but because they didn’t have a thorough understanding of mental illnesses I couldn’t get the help I needed earlier than what I did. What if because you didn’t have a proper understanding of how mental illnesses affect people you lost your child to suicide because you didn’t know the warning signs? The guilt would eat you alive that you could have prevented your child’s death by simply having a better understanding of mental illnesses and their depth.

To solve this problem, you as the next President of the United States of America, could pass bills to require a more in depth course about mental illnesses in public schools. You could give funding to opening national mental health facilities across the nation where youth and adults alike could receive proper mental health care no matter their status. You could create policies that would make insurance companies recognize and cover mental illnesses just like a broken leg or arm. There is so much that can be done to help a large part of the American population. It is up to you as our leader to do what you can to provide for your people.

You have a duty to the American people as their President. Are you going to let countless lives be lost because of something completely preventable with the right education and health care? Please make the right decision, lives are depending on you.

Thank you for your time,