Ever since these conditions have been considered a legitimate concern, mental health treatments have continuously faced improvements. But is the current system enough?
Around 450 million people are dealing with mental illnesses; an estimated one in four people whose mental health gets disturbed at a time in their lives. With its increasing demand, one can expect mental health treatments to increase accessibility and development.
However, while society has loudly spoken about caring for people’s well-being, little to no initiative has been presented to help alleviate the burden this brings to people. Beyond the quality of procedures, numerous other factors still need to be considered. To this day, the healthcare system is still priced as a privilege to any community. Services aimed to improve people’s health are still taxed and charged massively without regard to what people can sustainably afford.
As the percentage of troubled individuals increases, so does the cost they must shoulder for their treatments. Regardless of how revolutionized and normalized these conditions are, the appropriate medical care is still placed on a high pedestal and priced according to how specialized they’re structured and deemed to be. More clinics may offer these mental health treatments, but individuals who can afford them remain limited.
The Changes Mental Health Treatments Have Faced Over Time
Everyone has a mind and body to take care of. Treatment for such conditions has existed since time immemorial, but it hasn’t been since 1792 that these have been reformed to meet more humane and moral standards. For most of history, mental illnesses have been perceived and regarded poorly. Instead of a legitimate condition, they’re commonly associated with demonic possessions, angry deities, or witchcraft. This is why not much treatment has been provided for people’s well-being.
This horrifying past has been outlined in Patricia Lubeck’s Asylum Scandals. The book documents the frightening history of mental health treatments and the stories behind the asylum walls. Readers vicariously witness and experience the dread these troubled individuals once faced and had to undergo because of conditions they couldn’t control.
Fortunately, time has changed, and most inhuman conditions have been addressed and reformed. Now, multiple treatment options have become available for people to choose from and receive.
These moral treatments have evolved primarily based on humane psychosocial discipline and moral care. A healthy combination of psychiatry or psychology and religious concerns, these medical care applied to troubled individuals were considered more holistic and thus effective.
However, as developed and revolutionized as these procedures are, they may still be lacking in certain aspects. There’s still a long fight for society to execute toward improving mental health discussions and lasting impacts on communities.
What Can Society Do to Improve Further the Fight to Normalize This?
As a whole, society can massively contribute to the positive movement of its communities toward appropriate mental health treatments. From environmental adjustments to fostering connectedness and policing new norms, society has more control over consequential changes that have more impact on these aspects.
Gone are those days when medical professionals stuck rods to prod within people’s brains. But what replaced these are effective but cost-efficient treatments. These may have decreased detrimental risks, but they remain inaccessible to most of the population that needs them.
It needs a general push from the local governments through processes and programs.
Readjustment of Treatment Pricing for Better Accessibility
If there’s one thing society needs to enforce to improve mental health treatments, it’s the readjustment of these procedures’ pricing. There’s already no need for medical professionals to adjust and tweak the procedures, given they’re already proven effective. Instead, they must focus on lowering or offering more accessible services for everyone to avail and utilize.
It’s crucial to remember that mental illnesses don’t only affect the rich and privileged. They may also hit those at the lower end of the financial brackets. With this, the healthcare system must prioritize means that allow everyone to enjoy procedures and services. There should be access to public clinics offering the same quality and set of services as private establishments. It may seem disadvantageous in the economic lens, but the citizens’ well-being should outweigh this.
An Increase in Community Connectivity
Aside from professional help, community, and peer support also plays a significant role in improving people’s mental health recovery. The more these individuals are surrounded by a positive atmosphere and influence, the more they’ll gain a better footing in life. Troubled individuals shouldn’t be left alone and isolated from the others. Instead, they should be equipped with better social interactions.
There are multiple ways communities can increase this connectivity. From simple environmental adjustments like active transportation to help boost people’s physical well-being to monitored discussions and connectedness to help them foster relationships and reduce isolation, society can establish minor changes within communities. By creating these opportunities, these individuals are reeled away from social isolation and toward a more consequential sense of community.
An Increase in Outside-Treatment Opportunities
Once these individuals have received mental health treatments, they’re often left to fend for themselves. However, with their conditions to juggle, most may have troubled situations growing up and have spent their developmental years in survival mode rather than learning. This makes them likely to experience hardships settling back into the community and will receive fewer opportunities after their treatments. This includes getting back on their feet or adjusting back in their communities.
Their recovery shouldn’t only cater to the alleviation of their conditions. Instead, society must also reach out to help them afterward. Enough opportunities should be created to cater to their needs post-treatment, explicitly designed to their capabilities and comfort.