Mental health is an issue that plagues many of our youth. It could be anything from depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, blind rages, etc.
Every person has some kind of issue; no one's mental health is perfect.
Not everyone needs treatment, but everyone has mental problems, whether it's body image, or eating disorders, or just feeling down sometimes. Most people just need meds or a therapist sometimes. But sometimes, a person needs a little extra help.
Mental Hospitals are one of the most feared places for teens, and it is always a huge question on whether they will actually help them. From my experience, the hospitals are nothing like the movies. The hospitals in the movies don't look comfortable either. But the ones in real life are definitely not five-star hotels.
Their care includes in-facility teachers, therapists, psychiatrists, art therapy, etc. They all try to find the root of the problem and then allow you to express it however you need to. Most patients stay there for five to seven days. Others stay longer. Some more severe cases get transferred to a residential or state facility.
The honest question is, are these facilities what these patients actually need? Are they even helpful?
So, here is my review of the mental health system and facilities.
TW: I will put out there that this article may be triggering to those who have been in these systems. If this article will make you uncomfortable, please feel free to not read it. We will be going through many parts of the mental health system, not just the facilities.
In every school, there is a guidance counselor. They help you with academic questions and mental health questions. Many counselors will set up times when the students can come talk to them. Most are trained counselors, but some aren't.
The issues come up when the counselor doesn't handle the situation properly. For many cases with girls, their stories often get pushed aside as lies. Boys get pushed aside because boys should act like men and not have feelings. Many don't understand that mental illness is actually way more common than realized. And if more school counselors had the proper training, they would realize that.
Many cases never get reported to the proper people. And when they do, it often still doesn't get handled properly. Many students have complained that they weren't really listened to. Or that they weren't taken seriously. And many have complained that the counselors were even condescending to them.
All in all, the counselors need more training and more understanding on how mental illness works.
Many people who have mental crisis often need to go to the ER. Most ER's are equipped with psychologists to be able to help with patients dealing with mental illness. Also, for different kinds of abuse. They are trained professionals that have gone through the necessary training.
This is honestly one of the best aspects of the mental health system. This is in an emergency type setting where their goal is to get you feeling well enough to go home. They will sometimes prescribe medications if needed. They will talk you through your problems. They will set game plans with you for how to manage your symptoms long-term.
ER Psych get less glory than they deserve. And they save so many lives daily.
Ah, yes. The mental hospitals. Often portrayed in movies as this place where they get to heal in a protected facility. There's people all around them, movies, art, therapists, medications, and eventual release. The reality is similar. However, there are some things that the movies hide.
There are things called quiet rooms. They are literal concrete cell blocks. They are cold and hard. You are locked in there with little to no human contact for up to 24 hours.
The staff at these places can range anywhere from super kind and understanding to rude and heartless. The staff are the ones in charge of constantly monitoring the patients. They watch them and make sure they are following the rules. They also are the ones you talk to throughout the day. They are there to enforce the rules and make sure you don't hurt yourself. They can either be wonderful or horrible. That's just humanity in general. However, you'd think that mental hospital would choose their staff a little better.
There are very strict routines in the hospitals. They are there to give you a sense of routine while you are stuck in there. You get to see your assigned therapist a couple of times while you are in there. There is a psychiatrist there to prescribe you medication. There is exercise therapy, art therapy, music therapy, etc.
Many leave within a short period of time. Others stay longer. And some leave for a more permanent facility called state or residential hospitals. It all depends on their level of care.
In the end, they do help people. Their process could be much more humane at times. But, most of the patients do leave with a new sense of control of their mental health.