Should the government increase funding for mental health research and treatment?


Jalena Roberts, Reporter

According to the Mental Health America website, 56% of American adults with a mental illness do not receive any sort of treatment for their illness. 76% of American youth have also been left with only or no insufficient treatment at all. And, according to another article by Psychology Today, when compared to the U.S. National Institute of Health, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has way less funding. It only has a budget of $1.4 billion, and that said budget has declined by 10 percent in the last five years.

In my opinion, these sort of statistics are unacceptable in today’s society.

Many people tend to stick with the idea that physically ill people need help, and, those people are all correct in thinking that way! However, we as a society often forget about the people that are ill in a less physical way. People always forget about or push aside mentally ill people in favor of sick people that actually have physical, easy to diagnose symptoms. It’s much easier to notice physical symptoms rather than mental ones for very obvious reasons. It’s much easier for mentally ill people to hide those symptoms that it would be for someone with a disease like cancer.

From personal experience, I can say that those that are mentally ill are often shamed into keeping quiet about how they might be feeling, some also simply avoiding talking about their issues. No one should ever be told that they can’t feel a certain way or talk about how their feeling; that tends to be how a mentally ill person’s issues get worse. People should be encouraged to share how they’re feeling. Even if someone decides they don’t want to talk about things, they should still know that option is available for them if they need it later on.

Raising mental health research would help so many people get that encouragement to talk about things from professionals; it could possibly open many doors for someone. Raising the funding might also allow more mentally ill people to figure things out and get the help they need and deserve.