How to rebuild America’s mental health system, in 5 big steps

“No genuine system of mental health care exists in the United States. This country’s diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems are fragmented across a variety of providers and payers – and they are all too often unaffordable. If you think about it, the list of complications is almost endless:

  • Families of loved ones with mental illness recount horror stories, as several have in the Guardian’s interactive series this week.
  • Patients transitioning from inpatient to outpatient treatment often fall between the cracks.
  • Mental health and general medical treatment are rarely coordinated.
  • Substance abuse treatment usually takes place in an entirely different system altogether, with little coordination.
  • Auxiliary interventions that are so essential to so many people with serious mental illnesses – supported housing, employment training, social skills training – are offered through a different set of agencies altogether … if they are available at all.

Our mental health system is a non-system – and a dysfunctional non-system at that.”

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Source: The Guardian

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