Undoubtedly, mental health plays a significant role in community prosperity. There is no way any society can witness growth if the occupants are laden with numerous mental conditions. This is because pitiable mental health is an instant basis of compromised education, employment, unhealthy social relationships, and other negative impacts on the economy.
With mentally sick patients losing several days from their workplaces, the entire business community and the economy suffer the blunt. In addition, inferior mental health hinders mentally ill children from succeeding in school and maintaining fulfilling relationships. In a recent WHO report, at least 450 million individuals suffer from various behavioural and mental disorders.
Furthermore, neuropsychiatric disorders like depression, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia are some of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Fortunately, the mental health industry has witnessed an enhanced approach to anxiety disorder treatment and other mental health therapeutic management compared to previous years. Keep reading as we delve into the major role of mental disorders in society.
Impact of Mental Illnesses
Unattended mental conditions cause severe behavioural, physical, and emotional health complications. Popular consequences associated with mental health include confusion, excessive worry, sadness, mood swings, hallucinations, social withdrawal, and incapacity to handle daily stress.
Due to the intricacy of treating different mental conditions, the cost may impact various sectors like social services, law enforcement, health care, criminal justice, business, and education. For instance, a definitive anxiety disorder treatment [D1] costs roughly $ 6,500 per person.
More perplexing is that a 2012 study stated that the US mental health care spent approximately $ 83.6 billion on various treatment options. Remember that there is also an immense economic burden caused by loss of employment, confinement of affected individuals, social support costs, and indirect chronic disability costs. Below is a brief outline of mental illness impacts in various sectors.
- Criminal Justice System
With increasing numbers of substance use and mental health cases, the criminal justice system faces enormous financial expenses in juvenile courts. It is estimated that at least 40% of youth in custody require mental health referrals.
Moreover, a huge chunk of government resources goes to shelters for mentally ill underage patients. A reliable criminal justice system mainly concentrates on diverting drug addicts and mentally sick patients from prisons to competent health care. In the process, they also strive to reduce preventable involvement in juvenile and justice procedures.
One effective solution is to promote fairness in judicial systems and offer support to those in need of anxiety disorder treatment and other related conditions. Various bodies in the criminal justice system like public defenders, court personnel, prosecutors, legislators, law enforcers, and advocates must join forces in improving outcomes. Most importantly, they should eliminate discriminatory punishments and keep the youth from crimes.
- Health Care System
Primarily, poor mental health hurt’s the economy through low productivity from disabled and affected victims. The situation becomes worse with untreated mental conditions adding up to costly health care over time.
Additionally, patients suffering from severe mental illnesses (SMI) like psychotic disorders have other related diseases which sometimes lead to an early death. According to a medical review, adults affected with SMI have reduced lifespan by about 25 years.
Unfortunately, these patients end up losing their life early due to treatable and preventable mental illnesses. Some of these deaths happen because of negligence or inefficient treatment programs. For instance, a standard anxiety disorder treatment consists of therapy and counseling.
In some cases, medics can prescribe a combination of medication, counseling, and cognitive behavioral therapy. All in all, eventual solutions to mental health problems often require increased attention to providers, system-level factors, and patients.
Equally, misinformation, competing demands, and lack of urgency in developing definitive solutions worsen the situation further.
- Education Failure
There is a high chance that children from depressed backgrounds develop behavior issues in schools. If the situation remains untreated, it can lead to delinquency, school dropping, early entry into the criminal justice system, and substance abuse. As a result, underage children may suffer from various SMIs, leading to difficulty learning and impairment.
In the long run, these students may drop out of school or perform dismally. Regrettably, this leads to another series of miseries as the uneducated youth try their hand on menial jobs or crime-related activities to survive.
- Lost Earnings and Poor Work Productivity
Mental health patients may require more sick days compared to healthy individuals. Given that some ailments make patients incoherent and hyperactive, there is a high chance that their productivity levels would greatly suffer.
It is common for mentally ill patients to lose their jobs and suffer various discriminations. For example, it is nearly impossible for a patient undergoing an anxiety disorder treatment to receive promotions or better bonuses. Eventually, this translates to low quality of life and escalation of mental health conditions.
- Community and Family Disruption
Usually, people with untreated mental conditions are more prone to self-harm traits and suicidal thoughts. Other than that, most SMI patients lead an isolated life with minimal contact with the outside world. This behavior is typical in untreated social anxiety disorder (SAD) patients.
Likewise, the victims continually worry about negative judgment from other people. In some situations, these individuals struggle attending social events, mingling, or eating in public eateries. The fear can sometimes become irrepressible and only ebb away after proper treatment.
On the other hand, depression and ADHD patients experience problems cultivating interpersonal relations with family members, colleagues, and the community. Thanks to their hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity traits, affected victims may face severe social rejection, which pushes them further into depression.
According to the American Psychological Association, every human being has an equal right to mental health. Although this is not the case in some states, supporting optimum mental health is crucial for communities to prosper.
It is worth noting that untreated mental illnesses exceed beyond the affected individual to the community as a whole. This calls out to extensive analysis on effective and long-lasting solutions that give mental health patients a new lease of life.