In a recent meeting of the Center for American Progress (CAP), New York City’s first lady Chirlane McCray and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg discussed several strategies to boost mental health care in the real world. McCray, wife of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, spoke about how mental health problems affected her family, especially her daughter Chiara de Blasio who struggled with depression and substance abuse issues. Expressing concern over mental health crisis in the country, Steinberg said it shook his family too.
McCray has committed herself to multiple mental health care programs in New York City and spread awareness about how to respond to people suffering from such conditions. “We grow up learning what to do if somebody’s bleeding. You clean the area around the wound, find a clean bandage, and apply pressure. We all know that, but very few of us know what to do if someone has a panic attack or if someone is suffering from depression,” she said.
In the wake of the overwhelming ignorance surrounding mental health care, McCray recommended Mental Health First Aid, an eight-hour training program to all New Yorkers free of cost. The program aims to educate people about the various forms of mental disorders, how they surface in individuals, and how to respond in an emergency. McCray also emphasized on the importance of lending a patient ear without any preconceived notion to avoid deterioration of the crisis. In the last two years, the program has trained around 50,000 people and hopes to train another quarter of a million. In fact, the latest initiative is a core component of the larger ThriveNYC program, which McCray launched in 2015 to transform the outreach of governmental mental health care. Describing the current state of affairs in mental health care in the country, McCray expressed concern over the prevailing social stigma and the lack of empathy in the way physicians reach out to patients.
Meanwhile, Steinberg highlighted the success of the 2004 Mental Health Services Act across California, which mandates a 1 percent tax on personal income exceeding $1 million, which will be used for mental health care programs statewide. The tax now garners about $2 billion each year. Additionally, citing the paucity of effective leadership in the mental health community, Steinberg also founded the Steinberg Institute, which focuses on public leadership, and mental and behavioral health.
Mental health is as important as physical health
Mental issues, if ignored, can snowball into huge roadblocks hindering people from leading a normal life. In such precarious situations, timely medical intervention can definitely make an ocean of difference in their lives. Therefore, if anybody is struggling with a mental health disorder, irrespective of the degree of discomfort, they shouldn’t lose hope as they are not the only godforsaken ones in this state of misery. Millions of Americans battle a wide range of mental health conditions each year, and the number doesn’t seem to decline in the near future. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that at least one in five American adults nationwide (approximately 18.5 percent) experiences a mental problem in a given year.
Coping with emotional upheavals and mental unrest that seem beyond physical ability to control can be an enervating task, especially a desperate situation at the home front, unbearable depressive episodes or uncontrollable substance cravings. In such moments, help from a professional and empathetic mental health expert can alleviate one’s misery, and open new doors to help regain control of his or her life. In fact, experts recommend an early screening for symptoms of poor mental health rather than waiting for a possible mental affliction to take over.
Sovereign Health of California offers a number of customized treatments for all kinds of mental disorder. Patients can go for individual and group psychotherapy, or alternative therapies to lead a normal life. Our residential mental health treatment centers in California are among the best in the country. If you or your loved one is struggling with any mental health ailment, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives to know more about our evidence-based treatment programs.