It is time to sit down and have the conversation that no one wants to have about mental health issues. We can no longer avoid the issue of mental health nor kick it under the rug. We take care of our bodies almost religiously. We watch our cholesterol, check out body pains and go for regular check-ups. What we miss is check-ups for the brain. We all know someone who has a mental health issue or a chemical imbalance. While under medication, they are productive members of society, but what happens when they decide, no more drugs? Would you or your family feel safe?
First and foremost, mental health help has to begin with the families. Families have to be realistic about what their family members really need. We just can’t assume that little Johnny is quiet, such a nice boy and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Because one day, little Johnny might snap and end up the front cover of the news. The signs are always there for when a family member is calling out for help. The signs may be as subtle as reclusion from society or obvious as threats posted on social media.
Families have to acknowledge that help is needed. There is no stigma attached to mental health help. The first thought is to protect them or downplay the seriousness but that only prolongs the agony. The first step is finding an doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist to give them a guide for help. The second step is to provide a support structure and encourage mental health help openly. Not like someone who you are embarrassed about. Asking for help is hard enough.
Mental Health Medicine
Pharmaceutical companies have made great strides in treating and researching mental health issues. They have developed such drugs as Prozac, Ritalin and Lurasidone. The options for treatment available today are immense compared to 15 years ago. However, taking a pill is not the magic cure. It is another step in the support system to becoming an independent and productive member of society.
There is also a huge need to build a countrywide medical infrastructure just for mental health. Currently, only those with severe mental issues or large paychecks can access help in the private setting or in the law enforcement setting. We need mental health check ups just like we do heart check ups. It might help alleviate the stigma associated with mental health. This doesn’t mean that we need to instantly be medicated. We just might need help when heavily stressed for a short amount of time. There is nothing wrong with that. Just like eating less fat when your cholesterol is high.
Do you have a family member who needs mental help?