Our National Mental Health Is Suffering
(NOTE: this story shared by our sister station Newstalk 1280 KIT in Yakima. They have a live local morning show, which is what this came from)....We had phone call on the Morning News today that really touched us. A lady called and expressed her sadness and growing level of depression about all that's going on in America today. Who can blame her!
The Coronavirus Pandemic has locked us down and separated us from family, friends and loved ones, from our jobs and sense of security and identity and from the routines and activities that give life purpose.
In addition our national political divide is great, mean spirited and only seems to be getting worse as the presidential election draws near. Our national unity and culture is under attack by anarchists and extremists and the mainstream media seems more than willing to spread lies and misinformation giving power and importance to fringe groups and ideological extremism that doesn't track with a majority of Americans.
It's enough to make anybody feel helpless and hopeless and fearful for the future and millions of us do!.
Mental Health America is a national non-profit committed to promoting mental health as a critical part of overall wellness. The organization conducted a national survey including a state by state report card.
- Youth mental health is worsening.
- Adult prevalence of mental health is relatively stagnant, but suicidal ideation is increasing.
- Prevalence of substance use disorder (SUD) decreased in both youth and adults. T
- More Americans are insured, but their coverage is lacking. T
- There is still unmet need for mental health treatment among youth and adults.
- Youth are not being identified as having an Emotional Disturbance, which can keep them from accessing necessary accommodations.
In looking at Mental Health in 2020, six main considerations make up the State's score.
- Adults with Any Mental Illness (AMI)
- Adult with Substance Use Disorder in the Past Year
- Adults with Serious Thoughts of Suicide
- Youth with At Least One Major Depressive Episode (MDE) in the Past Year
- Youth with Substance Use Disorder in the Past Year
- Youth with Severe MDE.
The numbers tell the story of how well each state is doing with a ranking of 1-13 indicating a lower prevalence of mental health and substance use issues compared to states that ranked 39-51.
How are we doing here in the great Northwest? 15 years ago radio talk show host Michael Savage wrote a book called Liberalism is a Mental Disorder. Was he writing about Washington...our 2020 Adult Ranking is 46.