Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Pre-teens hear about that fatalistic look at life as they head into adulthood. Adults tend to sigh when they think of it. As today’s high-pressured employment, academic and digital worlds increasingly threaten the mental and physical health of the public, people are opening up to the need for mental health therapy. Celebrities share their mental health recovery stories with the public, lessening the stigma of mental distress and the necessity for adequate help out of it. Rank and file members of society share social media updates about their experiences with mental health suffering and healing, demonstrating the acceptability of mental health resources.
The pain of emotional and other mental suffering is so common and readily understood these days that it’s hard to remember when sharing such information was shunned and condemned. Denial of mental health issues used to be the standard knee-jerk reaction in US society. But the increasing, apparent need to include preventative and as-necessary therapy within an overall healthcare package is becoming a popular and realistic prospect for Americans. Even medical and mental health professionals are advocating for it.
Depression, loneliness, nervous breakdowns, strokes, suicides and heart attacks, even rampant addictions to something or other are happening with increasing frequency in the 21st century. Statistics about that and other deteriorating aspects of the public’s mental health are mounting. A sense of priorities and quality of life are being lost in the rush to meet deadlines, to prevent bank overdraft and to sustain employment as damaged lives and public health ensues. Individuals and organization administrators wonder what life is all about and if some sacrifices of Quality of Life are worth making. The questions are affecting the future of healthcare.
Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD has spoken publicly about the effect of loneliness on public health. Imposed by cubicles in many employment sites and the warp speed achievement demands that people endure, loneliness is damaging, sometimes killing people. Isolated employees lose contact with fellow humans, let alone themselves. All they can see is their work and increasing misery as the quality of their lives deteriorates. Rankin prescribes mental health therapy and spirituality as a normative healthcare practice to cure and to prevent such suffering. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia concur with her, as indicated in its CDC Promotes Public Health Approach to Address Depression document.
Addressing an older population than the younger workforce, the document mentions that “… 20 percent of adults age 55 and older have a mental health disorder (such as anxiety, cognitive impairment, or mood disorder) that is not part of normal aging (American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 2008). ü 15–20 percent of adults older than age 65 in the United States have experienced depression (Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, 2008). ü 7 million adults aged 65 years and older are affected by depression (Steinman, 2007). ü Chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries with accompanying depression have significantly higher health care costs than those with chronic diseases alone (Unützer, 2009). ü People with serious mental illness are more likely to die on average at age 51 from complications of unhealthy risk factors (such as smoking or obesity), compared with age 76 for all Americans (Parks, 2006). ü People aged 65 years and older accounted for 16 percent of suicide deaths in 2004 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007)…
Depression is not a normal part of aging… Effective treatment reduces depressive symptoms and secondary symptoms such as pain, and improves functioning and quality of life (Frederick, 2007; Snowden, 2008). That means depression among older adults can be addressed through better community-based approaches to identifying and treating depression and through more public awareness. .. The nation is now poised to take the next step toward realizing the vision of integrating mental health and public health described a decade ago in the Surgeon General’s report… it is clear that a population-based, public health approach—one that encompasses mental health—will be needed…‖ — David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Morehouse School of Medicine and former U.S. surgeon general As the lead.”
The issues raised also affect residents of Patient-Centered Medical Homes, a topic in its own right.
The mental health needs of highly stressed younger US citizens, meanwhile, remain jeopardized. They might not make it to retirement age if they are felled by deadly heart attacks, strokes or suicide. A February 16 2017 Forbes magazine article cited the fact that “1 In 5 Employees Has A Mental Health Problem.” Other business and psychological health publications have addressed the reality, too. The lack of mental health crisis has so affected job performance abilities and survival rates that many US businesses now offer assistance programs, self-help tools and programs for promoting mental health.
Ample evidence proves that mental health awareness and therapy, plus supportive related resources, should be guaranteed in the workplace and schools. As indicated by this PubMed Central The role of spirituality in health care article, increased respect for and involvement with spiritual activities should also be part of America’s lifelong healthcare package.
Yocheved Golani is a popular writer whose byline has appeared worldwide in print and online. A certified Health Information Management professional, she is a member of Get Help Israel. Certified in Spiritual Chaplaincy (End of Life issues) and in counseling skills, her life coaching for ill people puts healthy perspective into a clients’ success plan for achieving desired goals.