Before you read any further, let’s first discuss what a mental illness is. Well, it’s not as simple as just “defining” it. There is no clear definition. However, it is typically something that causes great distress in someone’s life and affects their day-to-day functioning. While you can take two people who have diabetes and probably find many commonalities between their diseases, the same cannot be said for a mental illness. A mental illness looks different for everyone: it has difference causes, different ways of running its course, and no definitive treatment that can promise, without a doubt, improvement (Vassello, J., 2015).
- While you may already know this, majority of mass violence and shootings are committed by people who have a mental illness…………..FALSE! This is unfortunately a common misconception among the public. In reality, people who suffer from a mental illness are actually MORE likely to be a victim as opposed to a perpetrator. Most people with a mental illness are not “dangerous.” In fact, you are surrounded by tons of people everyday who have a mental illness whether you know it or not. That brings me to my next point… (Oliver, J.)
2. Roughly 10 million people in the U.S. have suffered from a serious mental illness in the past year! (Oliver, J.)
3. A few decades ago, there was a push to reduce the number of patients in mental institutions by 50%. Unfortunately, that promise was never carried out properly and effectively. Community mental health centers never received the funding needed in order to appropriately help patients and provide them with the necessary resources.
4. Roughly 125,000 young to middle aged mental health patients have been placed in a nursing home in the U.S. As you can imagine, this did not solve a thing (Oliver, J.)
5. A psychiatric hospital in Southern Nevada came up with the brilliant therapy known as greyhound therapy…..they discharge seriously ill patients way too soon and provide them with a one way bus ticket out of town. Again, this did anything but help them (Oliver, J.).
6. Every year, 2 million people with a mental illness go to a state or local jail. There are 10 times more people behind bars than in state psychiatric treatment centers. Our society uses the criminal justice system to treat the mentally ill. This is not only expensive, but dangerous and quite ineffective (Oliver, J.).
Oliver, John. Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGY6DqB1HX8
Vassello, John. Mental Health & Social Work Slideshow, 4/19/2016