< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://echo9er.blogspot.com" > Echo9er: US Leads Mental Illness

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

US Leads Mental Illness

So, there is this story in yesterday's Washington Post that says 1 in four of us is prone to mental illness. ONE in four! So I'm sitting in a meeting today, atnd there are 8 people, including me, and I relate the story. Now, I KNOW I'm OK, so that means that of the other 7 in the meeting, 2 of them either need or will need Mental Health intervention at some time.

One-quarter of all Americans met the criteria for having a mental illness within the past year, and fully a quarter of those had a "serious" disorder that significantly disrupted their ability to function day to day, according to the largest and most detailed survey of the nation's mental health. . .

. . .Less than half of those in need get treated. Those who seek treatment typically do so after a decade or more of delays, during which time they are likely to develop additional problems. And the treatment they receive is usually inadequate.

Younger sufferers are especially overlooked, the survey found, even though mental illness is very much a disease of youth. Half of those who will ever be diagnosed with a mental disorder show signs of the disease by age 14, and three-quarters by age 24. But few get help. . .

One in Four! wow.

So that got me to thinking of a story I read over at MSNBC.com about a Canadian Suicide prevention line shutting down their 24 hour services in order to save money, and remain open during normal business hours.

Prince Edward Island, a small province on Canada's East Coast, says it is too expensive to operate the hotline around the clock. Starting June 1, it will be open only between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. . .

The hotline received about 1,400 calls a year and about 50 were from people contemplating suicide, health groups said. . .

. . .“One of the things I was hearing is the government felt there weren’t enough suicide-related calls,”

Isn't one call enough? I mean, if someone needs help, they need help, and not just during business hours. Isn't this something like calling 9-1-1 and being put on hold?

Hello. You have reached the Suicide Hotline.
Our offices are currently closed.
If this is a real suicide attempt and you need emergency assistance, please hangup and dial 9-1-1.
If your concerns are not urgent, please call back during our normal work hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Have a good day.

It's a good thing the public made a fuss and the decision was reversed.

P.E.I. Health Minister Chester Gillan has reversed a decision to cut a 24-hour crisis line for people with mental illness, and may even expand it. . .

. . .In reversing the cut, Gillan said his department was responding to concerns expressed by Islanders. He also said the province would consider expanding the
service to help people with gambling problems.

Expand the services? I thought they couldn't afford the services, now they are going to expand the services. OKaaaay!