According to recent reports by the Florida State government, there are more than six hundred and fifty thousand adults and almost two hundred thousand children living with mental health concerns in Florida alone. It is further estimated that more than 60% of the people who suffer from mental health issues will never get a proper mental health diagnosis or treatment in Florida.
The inability to properly treat and diagnose those suffering has a detrimental and snowballing impact throughout all of Florida. Not only can this lack of mental healthcare treatment has an adverse effect on the individual, but may also lead to them becoming homeless, or worse, and creating problems for others as well. Aggressive panhandlers with mental instability can be discomforting easily enough, may also present a very real and present danger to individuals merely going about their daily routines.
Some people view any indications of psychological or psychiatric issues as a sign of weakness, and deny the existence of their mental health problems, in Florida and ultimately, around the globe. Others may be shamed either personally or by those surrounding them, into believing that mental health issues are merely a passing phase and will eventually go away without any proper care or treatment.
Florida, like much of the rest of the country and many places around the world, is in fact, in the middle of a serious mental health crisis, and this issue needs to be resolved as quickly as possible in order to avoid any long-term, detrimental impacts on society as a whole, and for benefit of the individual. If that were not enough, Florida has additional societal concerns that only make the mental health crisis in Florida all the more disconcerting and potentially dangerous.
What is the 2020 Pandemic and Mental Health Crisis?
Along comes 2020 and these numbers will be further exacerbated as a direct result of lockdowns, isolation, social distancing and even full quarantines. Some of the increased mental health concerns will be temporary, even if they do leave very permanent emotional scarring, but some of the resultant mental health concerns are dire and in need of an immediate look at how mental health care in Florida is being handled.
Children and elderly parents have been left to die alone, people have been denied the right to gather together and properly mourn those who have passed. If the isolation of the individual is not bad enough, these additional factors have emotionally scarred many people beyond any hope for remuneration, much less the ability to alleviate the associated guilt and pangs of mental anguish.
Instances of general criminal activity, domestic violence and even suicide rates have seen an increase in frequency since the onset of the recent global pandemic. As the global transition continues into the “new normal” with more people either willingly or forcibly made to work and shop from home, and even to seek out more isolated forms of entertainment from home, these numbers will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
If there has been any upside to the pandemic and the lockdowns, it has been an increased awareness in the state of Mental Health in Florida. An increasing number of websites, individuals, and even professional mental health care providers are finding a larger audience among people seeking to improve their mental health.
There should be some caution, as seeking out mental health care professionals or mental health advice online is the same as many other areas, where as much disinformation can be found as actual professional health care advice. If you are looking for mental health care advice online, try to stick with authoritative sources and trusted websites.
Online social media influencers tend to become popular and generate a large following for telling people what they want to hear, which is not always what they need to hear, especially in terms of something so important as mental health care and advice. If you are going to try to get your mental healthcare information from these online influencers, try to search out the ones that are certified mental health professionals in Florida or anywhere else for that matter.
It would be great if we could all just flick a switch somewhere, and turn each individual emotion and emotional reaction on or off, but unfortunately, the real world does not work like that. Mental health issues are not a laughing matter, and allowing the thoughts and opinions of others to influence your decisions about your mental health can frequently worsen your overall mental health, never mind your emotional health care.
What are the most Common Mental Health Issues in Florida?
The most common severe mental health diseases in Florida are schizophrenia, severe depression, and bipolar disorder. In addition to the nearly million people in Florida with lasting mental health disorders, that some 50% of the population will experience at least occasional experiences with mental health concerns, though not all of these will be lasting or debilitating mental health illnesses.
The number of people suffering from depression has greatly increased, as have numbers for those people suffering from anxiety disorders brought about by the recent pandemic. While these numbers are projected to level off, and perhaps even to wain eventually, as the preventative measures are reduced, there will still be people who will continue to suffer from mental disorders throughout the entirety of their life as a direct result.
If there is any real challenge and concern, it should be the stigma that is sometimes associated with people suffering from mental disorders. People wishing to avoid being ostracized or castigated, creating even further mental challenges, will often avoid any attempt to find the best mental health professionals in their local area of Florida.
The stigma associated with mental health challenges not only prevents these people from receiving quality mental health care, but also can induce further mental health challenges, increasing anxiety, shame and ultimately leading to further troubles with depression.
This is one mental health challenge that definitely needs to be addressed, as finding a qualified and certified psychologist or psychiatrist should only lead to professional mental health care and treatment, without creating additional problems for the mental health patients in Florida.
What is the Difference Between Psychology and Psychiatry?
Psychology and psychiatry are often confused, each with the other. Despite this, the two fields are unique and largely independent of each other. While psychology has its foundations in the social sciences, psychiatry is based on the same training as any medical doctor would receive, with a specialist focus on mental and behavioral disorders, their causes and treatment.
What is Psychology?
Psychology tends to deal mostly with issues that are a psychological result of physical, mental, or emotional stimuli. More specifically, the study of psychology is focused on the functions of the conscious and subconscious (not unconscious) human mind (as opposed to the physiological and physical limitations of a study focused on the brain) and how the human mind functions with and influences behavior, as well as the study of the behavior of the individual.
What is Psychiatry?
Psychiatry tends to deal more with the physiological aspect of the mind and emotional response. A doctor of psychiatry is a medical doctor with all of the same requirements met, who specializes in the mental health of the patient. A psychiatrist is able to diagnose and treat medical, emotional, mental, and behavioral diseases and disorders.
Does Mental Health Care Require Time in a Mental Institution?
While there are exceptions to every rule, patients suffering from mental health diseases generally will not need to be institutionalized unless they present a danger to themselves or others. In some cases, mental health patients may also be institutionalized briefly for the sake of observation and a more thorough mental health examination by mental health professionals.
There are cases where being institutionalized will worsen the mental health condition, especially in cases where the mental health patient has a supportive family and some type of structure at home or in a more personalized atmosphere while they receive mental health counseling and treatment.
Mental health care in Florida was made all the more challenging by changes in State and Federal mental health guidelines, and the closure of federal mental health care facilities back in the 1980s. At that time, many of the federal mental health facilities were closed, often because of egregious abuses that further harmed mental care patients.
Ideally, the federal mental health institutions should have been replaced by State institutions or long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, many State laws and the requisite funding was not made available and at this time, many mental health patients began “slipping through” the proverbial cracks and ending up homeless or otherwise in more troubling environments such as regular detention facilities where mental health care was not always made available.
Why is Mental Health such a Challenge for the Homeless?
Florida, much like California, is something of a magnet for the homeless population, especially during the winter months. According to the government, approximately 35% of homeless males and upwards of 70% of homeless females have been diagnosed with mental health diseases.
Homeless people by definition do not have homes. Most of them have no means of supporting themselves. Fewer still have insurance or the means to receive proper mental health care and treatment. Furthermore, a substantial portion of the homeless population will suffer from concurrent disorders, most frequently including addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drug, or gambling addictions.
Even if there were a sufficient number of certified mental health facilities in Florida for the fixed population, the transient population is so high and so varied, that it would be effectively impossible to have State run mental institutions in Florida that were capable of providing the best mental health care treatment available to these people.
Does Advanced Health Care Offer Mental Health Care Services?
Advanced Health Care in Boca Raton is uniquely qualified to help you find the right mental health professionals no matter what you may be suffering from. AHCMD offers a complete service including consultations and rehabilitation, with both short-term and long-term mental health care options available.
Furthermore, AHCMD can offer you these services without any of the risk or stigma that may be associated with larger, more limited, mental health institutions, as we provide a wide option of medical health care services in addition to our mental health care department.