Mental Health Crisis

Nate Roberts
3 min readApr 22, 2021

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and the percent of people exposed to suicide in their lifetime can range anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of the population. Mental health has always been a struggle in society but more recently, it has become a crisis. Suicide levels in adolescents are higher than they have ever been and the number still rises every year. The question is, what are we doing about it? Suicide in adolescents is a problem in our society that the government is not putting adequate resources towards and cannot be looked over or taken lightly.

Mental health has reached a point where we can no longer ignore it. One reason we need to do something to address this issue is that suicide rates are growing every year and are at the highest point since World War II. “The U.S. suicide rate increased on average by about 1% a year from 2000 through 2006 and by 2% a year from 2006 through 2016”(Koons). Lots of other areas of life in the U.S. have gotten better, such as lower unemployment rates and longer life expectancy due to better healthcare. However, the rate of suicide has increased. There are lots of reasons that mental health has gotten worse. Evidence suggests that “there is a correlation between social media and mental health.”(Weir). A study found that using social media platforms increases feelings of loneliness. Also being away from social media can make one feel less lonely. “Social media correlates with mental health because people can get less sleep and less time with their friends which causes people to feel lonely”(Amatenstein). Suicide is a big problem in the U.S. and social media is just one of the contributors to the mental health crisis.

The government has not done an adequate job of putting measures in place to prevent teen suicide. In the U.S., psychologists are less likely to accept insurance than any other medical profession. As a result, “getting help for mental health can be very costly when only 55 percent of psychologists accept insurance”(Boylan). Most people might not be able to get the help they need because the treatment is so expensive. “Therapy can cost anywhere from 200 to 300 dollars per session”(Boylan). One way kids could get help with mental health issues is if the government put more programs in place so they feel comfortable reaching out for help. “Research shows that putting interventions in place with teens who are at risk can help prevent suicides”(Bennett). “Some of the programs that have been effective include teaching stress management, creating peer support programs and crisis counseling”(Bennett). There are ways that teen suicide can be reduced and the government should spend more money on programs that help struggling teens.

Without addressing the issue of mental health, the problem won’t get any better and it could make the problem get worse. “Students who receive help are less likely to commit suicide”(Morales). Researchers say that teens who get the help they need makes a difference in the way teens act. In the long run, immediately addressing the problem kids are facing away can really help improve their likelihood of getting better. Other countries have done things about mental health. Data from other countries shows that suicide can get better when they spend money on programs and health care to prevent it. In the past, Japan had some of the highest suicide rates. “This changed when Japanese citizens started to view suicide as a public health problem rather than a personal problem”(Mercy). One of the ways Japan did this is passing legislation to fund suicide awareness and prevention campaigns. The U.S. could say that they are doing everything in their power to end this mental health crisis such as stress management programs . But seeing that number continue to rise, clearly what we are doing isn’t working. Addressing the problems of mental health and learning from actions that were successful in other countries could make an impact on struggling teens in the U.S.