Mental Health Care

         In the recent past, the issue of mental health has received an increasing amount of attention from different stakeholders. Mental health is vital for every person as well as for public health. Notably, promotion and disease prevention are necessary to improve mental health. While distinct efforts for mental health promotion and prevention may be required, psychiatrists are in most cases not accustomed to mental health. Statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (n.d) found that one in every five adults in the U.S. is likely to be diagnosed with a mental disorder. When mental illness is untreated, it often characterized by most violent crimes witnessed today. Despite the increased awareness of mental health issues in the U.S, the country experiences several challenges in terms of mental health care.

         Firstly, most people in need of mental health care services lack access to appropriate medical attention. This issue results from different complex reasons. In some cases, people do not even acknowledge that they may be struggling with mental illness and the potential stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment. According to Lake and Turner (2017), most people across the U.S. experience some sort of mental, psychological problem, but do not seek medical attention as they would for other diseases due to personal barriers. As a result, they end up missing the services offered in the mental health care setting. Notably, since mental illness is a chronic disease, it can result in adverse effects if not properly treated. 

       Secondly, while people can have access to treatment, the quality of service received vary widely across the country. Even after an individual is diagnosed with a mental problem, obtaining the appropriate treatment is often challenging. In the past few decades, there has been a shift to a greater emphasis on the application of evidence-based practices which implies that treatment should be accompanied by research studies aimed at improving outcomes. However, studies have shown that most health care providers do not always use evidence-based practices (Kazdin, 2017). Therefore, factors such as choice and preference, organization values, and available resources often determine the type of treatment received. This issue complicates the mental health care issue even further.

      Lastly, there is a lack of a minimum standard for the treatment of mental illness. This issue creates problems when determining if treatment options are safe and effective. Additionally, some patients end up passing through different systems such as juvenile justice, as well as other structures that provide mental health services. Unlike for other medication, no agency set standards for the safety and efficiency of various therapies, which makes it difficult to evaluate different approaches for different abilities to improve a certain mental health condition (Sabella & Fay-Hillier, 2014). Moreover, while psychiatric drugs are essential, in some cases most of them are not adequately studied for potential side effects and their long-lasting complications are not always known.

       Conclusively, the U.S. health care system experiences challenges in the mental health industry. Lack of access to appropriate medical attention, the quality of care available, and lack of minimum standards for the treatment of mental health illness are some of the challenges facing the U.S. and at my community level; in relation to mental health care. Nevertheless, with the continuous efforts of mental health experts and policymakers, it is likely to improve the state of mental health care in the country. Mental health department around the U.S. requires well-skilled clinical mental health counselors who can train their colleagues and produce guidelines for professionals across the entire health care sector.


Kazdin, A. E. (2017). Addressing the treatment gap: A key challenge for extending evidence-based psychosocial interventions. Behaviour research and therapy, 88, 7-18.

Lake, J., & Turner, M. S. (2017). Urgent need for improved mental health care and a more collaborative model of care. The Permanente Journal, 21.

NIMH. (n.d.). Mental illness. NIMH » Home.

Sabella, D., & Fay-Hillier, T. (2014). Challenges in mental health nursing: current opinion. Nursing: research and reviews, 4, 1.

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