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Mental illness is one the most misconstrued illness, for a very long time, mental illness was a disease people would not dare speak about. The stigma associated with the disease was strong patients have locked away and were not treated. Mental illness was viewed as a curse or simply poor upbringing. Even today, many people with mental illness are still discriminated. Mentally ill patients are made to feel different and incapable.
Mental illness is common in the US with most people with mental illness if treated properly fully recover and manage their lives. Most patients do recover, but some are affected by the social stigma. Stigma and discrimination worsen the disease; their family members, friends, employers and the public, stigmatize patients. Society has stereotyped opinions about mental illness; many people assume that mentally ill patients are violent, very dangerous and are a risk to the public. Most patients are still locked up by their families. Stigma and discrimination limits patient from getting help and necessary treatment they require.
Discrimination is commonly witnessed within the primary care facilities, and lack of adequate knowledge by practitioners affects patient’s treatment process. People with mental illness receive a hostile reception in health care facilities more so for those suffering from a personality disorder. Stereotyping also affects the treatment and recovery process for those with mental illness. People easily dismiss or maintain a social distance, the media also present biased stories that revolve around stereotypes, mentally ill patients are termed as maniacs or people assume that they are hiding behind psychobabble. Some of the factors that accelerate stigma and discrimination are based on the general assumptions.
There are few interventions that mentally ill patients can undertake, it is unfortunate that American citizens living with mental disorders end up in prison or become homeless due to lack of a comprehensive treatment plan within the local facilities. According to the latest mental health statistics, approximate five hundred thousand inmates are patients with are mental illness because prison offers better mental health care than other health care facilities. The fact that judge sends people to prison just receive treatment should worry everyone.
Mentally ill patients end up in prison and stay longer because most of them cannot follow the strict rules due to the nature of their condition compared to other prisoners. It is because of the stigma associated with mental illness that has prompted insurance companies not to provide adequate coverage for mental health services. Limited insurance coverage limits the access to mental health care service. It is true that the health care sector has not taken mental health seriously.
Thanks to the new affordable care act, mental illness has been rated the same as physical illness. Therefore, patients with mental disorders can co-pay at the same price as patients with physical illnesses. The affordable. Based on all these facts, it goes without saying that American citizens need to demand better mental health services because patients with mental disorders are the most vulnerable population that needs to be handled with care. The public needs to be aware of the negative effects of stigma and discrimination and how the two can affect the lives of those who have mental illness. I believe that is we can improve treatment options for mentally ill patients to experience a decrease in the nation’s suicide rates.