Sarah and Daniel’s article is spot on for these two points. We are talking more about mental health right now, but…
Talking about mental health won’t help, unless it extends to the talking about the reasons why so many experience mental ill health, and what collective action we can take to address those drivers.
Secondly, as the stigma around mental health clears, more of us are seeking care when we need it. This, along with the rise in ill health, is driving demand for mental health services. While it’s clearly a good thing that people are no longer suffering in silence, mental health services do not have the resources to help everyone who make contact with them. What’s the point in encouraging people to be open about mental health and seek support if that support is not available?
These two things are related. We don’t have the mental health resources to treat everyone, so we will continue to leave too many people behind, unable to get help. To combat that, we need to develop more resources, using technology, and anything else we can find to make help and support more widely available. We also need to figure out how to help people upstream, if you will, so that they do not reach a crisis state. We need to figure out how to intervene earlier, and avoid the downstream issues that require more help than we have available.
Neither of these is easy, but they must be done. What we are doing now is failing far too many people.