Letter to the Editor | Campus needs more mental health resources

By Ashley Alexander

The United States is facing a mental health crisis that is only expanding with the lack of access to services.

For example, Julie Wurth’s article, posted Dec. 5, noted in the 2018-2019 academic year the number of walk-in crisis intervention appointments at the UI Counseling Center reached 471 patients. This was an 85% increase from two years ago. This is just a small reflection on the need for mental health services.

These statistics are not unique to campus. C-U’s community services are booked to the brim, and the average wait to see a mental health professional is 3 months. This seems unacceptable considering that an estimated 22.1% of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder during any given year. This equates to 44.3 million people according to Epidemiologic Catchment Area.

Lastly, I want to present the Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) on unipolar depression alone. DALYs is the sum of years of potential life lost due to premature mortality and the years of productive life lost due to disability. As of 2002, unipolar depression was ranked number four, and by 2030 it is projected to be ranked number two according to WHO. Based on these numbers, we need to evaluate how we allocate resources that fund mental health services.

Everyone is impacted by mental health, whether that is the individual, through a family member, a friend, taxes, insurance or a public health policy.

Ashley is pursuing her masters in Social Work. 

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