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Martin Lockhart-WeaverThe Mental Health AgendaHHS 497: Health and Human Services CapstoneBeth OkanteySeptember 14, 2020
Running Head: MENTAL HEALTHAGENDA2Over the last decade, there has been an increased need for mental health services globally.Existing models of care and treatment interventions fail to address the global crisis of mentalhealthcare. There is an increased number of global citizens suffering from behavioral healthdisorders, including mental illness and substance abuse. Some populations are at a moresignificant disadvantage of mental healthcare being inaccessible, like veterans, rural residents,minorities, and LGBTQ community members. The lack of mental services, providers, andresources are a global concern. As a result, mental health was pushed to the forefront of thepublic health agenda.Addressing the inaccessibility to mental health services is an urgent matter, and increasedaccess to treatment is needed. We will analyze the following barriers limiting access to mentalhealthcare: The negative social stigma surrounding mental health, high-cost barriers and lack ofhealthcare coverage, shortage of mental healthcare providers, socioeconomic status, and overallservices. The inaccessibility of services has caused many to suffer in silence. There is a growingconcern about the unmet needs of adults and children who have a mental illness in the UnitedStates. The most substantial barrier to date is prompt access to mental healthcare services.Nationally, there is a shortage of mental healthcare clinicians, making it difficult for anyone toreceive treatment. The growing need for mental professionals, coupled with the lack of provideravailability, causes many to wait lengthy periods for appointments.Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental healthplays a part in daily functioning the way we think, feel, and act. Mental health also plays a part in
Running Head: MENTAL HEALTHAGENDA3how we cope with stress, connect with others, and make decisions. Preserving one's mentalhealth is vital at every stage of life, from early childhood and adolescence to adulthood. At somepoint in life, everyone will have mental health concerns, which is normal. However, whensomeone starts to develop ongoing symptoms that affect the ability to function, they could beexperiencing a mental health problem. The development of a mental health issue can negativelyaffect the thought process, mood, and behavior—making daily functioning difficult for thosediagnosed with mental illness. Many factors can contribute to the development of mental illness:biological factors, life experiences, socioeconomic status, environmental stressors, and familyhistory of mental health issues. The severity of mental health illness depends on the individualand their symptoms. According to the American Psychiatric Association (2018), mental illnessesare associated with problems functioning in social, business, and family activities due to thevarious changes the mind goes through.Mental illness is a chronic disabling condition thatposes many challenges and increases other health conditions.

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