NUHW: Fighting for mental health parity

Everybody deserves equal
access to mental health. Mental health is just as
important as physical health. Mental health parity refers
to mental health services being provided in the same way as any other type of healthcare services. Making sure that
healthcare organizations prioritize mental healthcare
and will fund the treatment of people who are suffering
from mental illness. You’d have the same level of access that you would to a physician
for any other medical need. Mental health is undervalued
in the healthcare system. With physical wounds, illnesses, there’s an outer manifestation
that you can easily see. It’s much harder to see a
mental illness for an illness if you’re not bleeding
or having a broken bone. There’s not that link of,
if I had an issue with my heart or had diabetes, I would go to the doctor and get it fixed and
that would be accepted. Mental health has a
stigma attached to it and it’s one that
those in the profession have been trying to break down. Sometimes when there’s stigma, people are less likely to speak up or come forward about
what they’re dealing with. I think that there’s a lot of shame and misinformation around mental health. I think we have a lot of work to do in the country as a whole around educating people
about mental health and encouraging people to seek care and to speak up about their symptoms. It’s always a great feeling
to give hope to patients and let them know that they’re
not alone in their struggles. We need to continue to talk about it, don’t stop talking about it, and everybody that you meet, push for mental health to be
on parity with physical health.

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