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    Top Three Barriers to Quality Treatment for Mental Illness

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    Silver Linings Playbook Movie Poster-Weinstein Company

    Silver Linings Playbook Movie Poster-Weinstein Company

    In 2012 when Silver Linings Playbook was released, Social Work Helper examined how lack of financial resources and health insurance would have produced an entirely different outcome for the characters in the movie.

    The movie utilized a holistic approach between the court system, hospital, therapist, and family in providing treatment options for Pat which allowed him to find his silver lining.  Imagine if Pat was homeless and without healthcare while dealing with pending charges he had in the movie? It would have been another episode of Cops instead of an uplifting movie about overcoming challenges due to mental illness. Read Full Article

    In today’s society, mental illness is becoming more romanticized in the media. Many media outlets go as far as to embellish the truth about how mental illness really impacts the lives of those suffering from it. Often, the media fails to broadcast the barriers that are present that prevents certain social groups from obtaining quality treatment for their mental illness. I am going to tell you about what I find to be the top three barriers and how we can work together to break them.

    Stigma

    About 2 out of 3 people with mental illness never get any form of professional treatment. Stigma is the number one barrier that enables people from getting the help they deserve. Society makes people feel like they are weak for asking for help.  The social groups that suffer from mental health stigma the most are men, minorities, and those who are told they need to “be strong”. Stigma makes people feel ashamed and hopeless. Based on the stigma on mental illness many people are impeded from recovery and this needs to stop.

    Finances

    When compared to other health services the demand for mental health care is the most responsive to cost. A major player in this barrier is health insurance. Many have found that insurance companies place many restrictions to obtaining mental health treatment.

    Mental Health System

    Many of the barriers faced by those with mental illnesses are caused by the mental health system itself. This causes frustrations, long waiting time and a very disorganized system. The foundations of this failed system came from previous reform movements, disproportionate distributions of funds, and isolated health care. Mental health professionals are not communicating well with other health professionals. Another thing that needs improvement is the transition from inpatient to outpatient care.

    These barriers prevent people from starting their journey to recovery. One way we can break down these barriers to get people to speak up about their issues. As a society we can work on educating the public about the truth. We can also break down these barriers by reaching out to someone in need and letting them know they no longer have to suffer in silence.

    Julia Cardoso is the Mental Health Staff Writer with a focus on Anxiety Disorders. She is a graduate of Emmanuel College with a BA in Sociology and is on her second year MSW program at Simmons College. Julia is passionate about Mental Health and eliminating the stigma.

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