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79% of Americans Believe Mental Health Is a Public Health Emergency That Needs More Attention

Mental Health is a public emergency. Unfortunately, #addiction is another common denominator in the uptick in mental health issues. We are NOT addressing the influx of #fentanyl into the United States. We are #enabling abuse in safe places in major cities and providing clean needles and other paraphernalia. We are not reaching out to the #homeless on our streets and allowing people to use anything and everything publicly without repercussions. While I don't believe homeless people with mental illness and addictions should be prosecuted, unless we as a society use outreach methods of any type to this population, we are enabling the behavior and watching them slowly die. In NYC, I recently drove up broadway from midtown. You must be careful sitting at street lights; people will walk straight into traffic because they are on a substance and struggling with mental illness. What will happen to these folks this winter when the temperature drops and the shelters are full? Philadelphia is worse.

Source: APA

You are placed on a waiting list if you try to get an outpatient appointment with a #psychologist or #psychiatrist. #Telehealth is relied upon too much, and patients are getting lost in the shuffle, especially in lower socioeconomic areas. There is so much you can miss in telehealth in mental health. For example, hand wringing, anxiety, tics, hygiene, pinned eyes, alcohol, medication side effects, addiction, and drug-seeking behavior, the list is endless. The police will show up to a domestic call disturbance call, but their hands are tied in many ways. I've seen some fantastic police save #suicidal people in the line of duty, but many are missed, lost, and too late. Many patients suffering wind up in #EmergencyRooms where I would say 80 percent of the time they do not have a psychiatrist, NP, MSW, or psychologist on staff to properly assess the situation and many times are discharged when they should probably be admitted.

Sometimes the only way to save someone is to take their freedom away temporarily to detox and attempt to save their life. This can be in #rehab, a hospital inpatient center, and sometimes #jail. While it doesn't sound like great options if someone is in a mental health crisis and using everything they can get their hands on, eventually, they will die if they are on the streets, so a safe, controlled environment may save their life. #mentalhealth #environment #hospital #police #apa #inflation #economy2022

#Covid-19 has exacerbated these issues with family loss, grief, mandates, lockdowns, change in social norms, and job loss. #Inflation is also a significant contributing factor.

We must do better.


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