Let’s talk about mental health and what is keeping people away from seeking help. In 2004 World Health Organization released a report on the rate of people with mental health without any form of treatment.
From their analysis (32%) of people suffering from schizophrenia are on non-treatment list, bipolar disorder (50%), panic disorder (55%), major depression (56%), generalized anxiety disorder (57%), obsessive- compulsive disorder (59%), and alcohol dependence (78%).
These rates are really alarming and yet it is generally believed that these rates are probably lower than the actual number of people failing to receive treatment.
What we can take away from this is that majority of people who are dealing with real mental health issues don’t ever get the proper care they need and the question is- why? One thing we know for sure is that, it’s not about the affordability of treatment.
United States spends $13 billion on mental health treatment that is about 5.6 percent of the national health-care spending. So it is safe to say that financing is not the issue because already the cost of seeing a psychiatrist or other mental health providers has been subsidized by the government.
One of the biggest things that are still keeping people away from seeking help though is stigma. You know why? Because nobody wants to feel like there is something wrong with them mentally, nobody wants to feel like they are crazy.
Having a mental illness does not make someone crazy it makes you human we are all susceptible to one illness or the other. No one is immune to mental illness conditions stigma is keeping too many people away from getting treatment. Those most affected by the stigma includes young people, men, minorities, people in the military and, perhaps not surprisingly, those in the health field.
What is stigma? Stigma is a negative connotation, negative emotions, and all the negative things that are attached or associated to mental health. Where do they come from? They come from the way people talk about people with mental illness.
The way people feel about people with mental illness and from the things we hear about people with mental illness especially the things we see in the media, in movies and on our television screen. Many people have associated mental illness with violence, crime, waywardness when in fact majority of people with mental illness issues are no more likely to be violent than anyone else.
Only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.
You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don’t even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.