Home Russell County ASK DR. ANGELIA: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

ASK DR. ANGELIA: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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Mental health matters. With all the problems in our world today, there is much talk about mental health and how mental health services can help. Still, the stigma of seeking services persists. It is not a sign of weakness to seek help. Instead, those who seek the help they need must have great courage.

In the past two years and due to the pandemic, mental health services can be provided via telemental health from the comfort of your own home. This is a major mental health movement forward. Telemental health services are here to stay because of the success in reaching people who prefer not to come in to an office.

Still, problems with mental health care services persists. Services are denied at twice the rate of physical health care services. This is discrimination against people dealing with mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. No. All people have value and need help to deal with problems in living. Medicaid and Managed Care Organizations in Kentucky resist fair reimbursements, limit the medications accepted and restrict the number of inpatient days for mental health treatment.

Lack of adequate funding has had consequences. Kentucky ranks 45th in per-capita funding for mental health care, 49th (second worst) in the number of people suffering from depression, and 49th (second lowest) in mental health well-being. Suicide deaths in Kentucky were 800 people in 2020. Death by suicide is preventable with mental health services.

In mental health reality, action is what’s needed. The ongoing battle and cuts to mental health services, that’s where the real problem lies. Mental health needs funding like physical health. If we want the problems to abate, we must rethink everything in order for people to access the help they need through a means where they feel comfortable.

And you can do your part by helping people who are hurting get the help they deserve. Remember my friends and readers, embrace 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Love God and all people. Amen.

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