Among a sparse excerpt within President Donald J. Trump’s position on healthcare reform he states, “Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones.” Let us ignore, for a moment, the larger issue being less than five percent of said paper addresses mental healthcare to assess the beneficiary of effective mental healthcare reform. Undoubtedly, individuals with mental health degradation, their family and friends, and the mental health industry benefit; however, America is the ultimate heiress. Furthermore, if there is only one, a case exists for mental healthcare as the preeminent global solution.
The mental health professional is the information and tool needed for individuals, families, and communities to achieve sustained functionality across the life span. Each year, over fifty million adults in the United States suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. Among the largest difficulties is the tendency for mental health issues to occur on a continuum, ranging from severe disorders to temporary, undiagnosible mental dilemmas. Essential federal policy reform includes: standardization of clinical assessments, access to quality care across the life span, and the extension of care to underserved populations, as well as beyond the bounds of severe mental health diagnosis. Additionally, reform must address deficits in the career-long training, education, and supervision of mental healthcare providers.
Physical and mental wounds are alike as both heal from the inside out. The difference between medical and mental healthcare is the former often focuses on cure and the latter care. America is a culture built on bleeding hearts and weary minds. Outfit the surgeon to stop the bleeding but forget not the solicitation of counsel to repair cognition. Federally funded research must remain prioritized; however, an overdue effort includes incentivizing collaborative efforts across the various sectors of mental healthcare. Strength results from collaboration, bolstering the resilience of the helping community concerning emotional fatigue, moral distress, and grief.
Mental health is a cumulative lifelong phenomenon and human susceptibility to discernable mental disorders persists from birth to death; for example, consider trauma and grief. Increased provisions for school counselors, employment assistance programs, and private practice as well as integration of mental health clinicians in government, hospital, and hospice settings ensures individuals and families are afforded continual relevant mental health support. Regardless of America’s leadership, achieving greatness is agreeable; notwithstanding, as a culture, the efforts remain unpalatable and above all the measure of greatness requires discernment. The potential for America to be great likens the potential for individuals with mental health issues to be great—the capacity exists but requires cognitive changes, emotional healing, and alternate behaviors. Remember in the darkest hour, when hope seems lost, counselors remain affixed on the glimmer of hope. Invest well America.