Mental Health and Government Solutions
Produced by: Ryan Brong
The United States government can play a key role in mental health treatment in the country. Through funding, advocacy or education the government can lead the way in helping solve this issue.
Changing the System
According to Mental Health First Aid, people living with mental illnesses are 16 times more likely to die as a result of a police encounter compared to the general public. This fact alone shows how unacknowledged mental illnesses may be within law enforcement and how detrimental the results can be if officers are not properly trained in understanding and pinpointing the complexities of those living with mental health conditions. With proper trained law enforcement officers can know how to identify when citizens are dealing with a mental health related breakdown.
In addition to general encounters, nearly 15% of men and 30% of women booked into jails have a serious mental health condition, according to NAMI. These inmates are likely not being treated. At least 83% of jail inmates living with a mental health condition did not have access to needed treatment. Such inmates are typically left to suffer in confinement, which can exacerbate their illnesses. In our efforts to change the system as a whole, we must also look to the possibilities of making treatment more open and accessible, even within prisons.
Written by: Eric Stone