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Who Needs Mental Health Services the Most and How to Access Them?

Healthcare includes various fields and subspecialties that cover almost all dimensions of human well-being. Although mental health is as important as any other aspect, mental health services are often overlooked or stigmatized.

However, mental health services are unequal and insufficiently available for most people in the world. Thus, it is not easy to answer the question of who needs mental health services the most; we can consider certain demographics and societal groups. Thus, we will also discuss the more feasible options for accessing mental health services.

Breaking Down the Necessity of Mental Health Services

Low-Incoming Individuals

People with low income, lack of access to resources and opportunities, and limited support systems tend to experience mental health conditions. According to the WHO, people living in poverty are more likely to experience mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. Therefore, they need to access eligible psychiatry services irrespective of their economic situation.

Socioeconomic Conditions

Socioeconomic status and circumstances greatly influence mental health. Economic disparities and inequalities exacerbate stress and anxiety due to poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and other severe financial problems. Moreover, such people, as a rule, also experience discrimination, social exclusion, and lack of educational access, which makes it harder to overcome mental health issues.

Marginalized Communities

Including LGBTQ+ people, racial and indigenous minorities, immigrants, and others whose problems are indirectly or directly caused by the level of social acceptance and understanding of mental health issues affecting their quality of life. After all, they have to fit into a society that may not always accept them due to their identity, beliefs or cultural background.

Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Traumatic survivors who suffer from the consequences of accidents, abuse, violence, terroristic attacks, natural disasters, combat operations, and other tragedies that could cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other dangerous conditions. Indeed, such treatments as trauma-informed care are crucial for the survivor’s healing process.

Individuals with Chronic Illness or Disability

Many people tend to divide physical and mental health; these states are interconnected. Experience of pain, limitations to self-reliance, and stigma of disabilities can lead to depression and anxiety. 

Thus, comprehensive healthcare models should consider both of these needs. Moreover, individuals with chronic illness may also experience feelings of isolation and loneliness, further increasing their need for mental health services.

Caregivers and Frontline Workers

Whether in healthcare, emergency, or social service work, the issues of burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary trauma are prevalent. Therefore, it is critical to ensure mental health support for these workers to maintain their health and the quality of care.

The Intersectional Aspect of Need

In many cases, people can belong to multiple categories of need. For example, a young LGBTQ+ person can belong to groups of sexual and gender minorities, youth, and racial minorities. Thus, they may experience compounded needs that require a more unified approach to providing mental healthcare services.

How to Overcome the Barriers to Access Mental Health Support?

Reducing Stigma

To reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, it is critical to engage in education both for practitioners and the broader public to increase awareness. This should establish a culture where people are not shamed or poisoned for seeking mental health help.

Increasing the Availability

To improve the availability of mental health services, it is essential to make them affordable and available. It includes telehealth, community health services, and integration with primary care to address underserved populations.

Culturally Sensitive Services

Cooperation with diverse communities is critical to ensure mental health services are effective. If people can receive help without fear of judgment, discrimination, or their customs being disregarded, they are more likely to seek help.

Collaborative Approach

The government should cooperate with the health sector, including primary, community, and mental health services, and non-profit organizations and advocacy groups to provide comprehensive services.

Ending Note

The demand for mental health services varies according to individual circumstances and systemic factors. A more efficient and fair mental health care system must take into consideration the needs of the most vulnerable populations. Accessibility, inclusivity, and culturally competent approaches would help in ensuring that mental health care provisions to everyone, leading to a healthier and more equitable society.



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