Continuing our discussion about mental health and public policy with Ramona Johnson. Here we examine how resources for health care are allocated.
Let’s review: Mental illnesses are neuro-chemical, biological diseases, just like many other physical diseases. And yet, the resources allocated to address these conditions are inadequate, especially as compared to other ailments. The stigma around mental illness still exists. And, when those suffering from such brain disorders don’t seek treatment, they can’t be productive. For example, it’s extremely difficult to be a successful person when one is battling something as debilitating as depression.
There are effective treatments and medications for such disorders. Although the path forward must include de-stigmatizing mental illness, and allowing, even encouraging people to access the services that they need. Making sure such services are available and accessible must happen so that the person in need of treatment can get better and can return to work. Most people want to work.
And it’s clearly in the nation’s interest. Our country loses billions of dollars every year. When people don’t show up for work, overall productivity is diminished because when a person cannot face the day, they’re not there to pull their share of the load.