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Lack Of Mental Health Services For Children

1915 words - 8 pages

Introduction and personal statement:
“It takes a village to raise a child.” The African proverb is an example of the responsibility that all of us to children. It takes doctors, teachers, parents, judge, and more to raise a child. Raising a child means taking care of their needs: food, clothes, love, safety, and medical care. But what about mental illness? Is our society taking care of the mental illness needs of children? When looking at the services available to children, then answer is not. There is a lack of mental health services available for children in the United States.
I have a personal and professional interest in this topic. Personally, I have experienced the difficulty ...view middle of the document...

In the early 1900’s, talk therapy was introduced by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. In the 1930’s, the use of medications for mental illness was introduced as well as electroconvulsive therapy, insulin induced comas, injections of malaria, and lobotomies. In the 1950’s, medications such as Thorazine, Haldol, and Lithium were introduced. For the next 40 years, different therapies such as behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy were used. With the 1960’s there came a push to de-institutionalize the mentally ill which resulted in many mentally ill becoming and staying homeless. In the 1990’s, a new line of psychiatric drugs were introduced. These drugs are still used today in combination with therapy or by themselves. (PBS, 2002).
Just as the treatment options for the mentally ill have changed, so have the social policies and funding. The one of the first pioneers and advocates for the mentally ill was Dorthea Dix. In the 1840’s, she began lobbying for better conditions in the mental hospitals. In 1946, President Harry S. Truman introduced the National Mental Health Act. This act created the National Mental Health Institute. This institute supplied funds to study the cause of mental illness and how to improve the treatment for it. By 1955, the need for a more effective treatment system was recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association. They joined forces to create The Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health. In 1963, Congress passed the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Health Care Constructions. The purpose of this was to supply mental health services in the communities, especially focusing on those where were being de-institutionalized. This was the beginning of the Community Mental Health system. In 1979, the first legislation that included service programs for children was the Mental Health Systems Act, passed under the Carter administration (Grob, 2006, p. 741). Not only were policies changing, but public perception of mental illness was changing. In 1978, the term “chronic mental illness” was changed to “severe and persistent mental illness”. This change was made because advocates for mental illness felt that their “chronic mental illness” had a negative connotation and attached stigma to the issue of mental illness (Grob, 2006, p. 742). In 1981, the US 9501 Bill, 42 Public Health and Welfare Chapter 102 Subchapter IV Mental Health Rights and Advocacy was passed. This bill gave rights to the mentally ill and created advocates for them too. Since this time there have been amendments to this bill as well as additional bills that give money to further enhance the mental health system. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that went into effect in January, 2014 includes mental health treatment, though some of this coverage is limited and has higher co-pays than other medical visits.
Analysis of Current Problem:
Problem Statement and Prevalence

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