Mental Health Making a Lasting Impact in the New Decade

With the first few weeks of the new decade already underway, lawmakers across the nation have been urging for change in an area that historically has been overlooked: mental health. 

Efforts both big and small have already been put into action, fostering a hope that with the turning of the new year, a larger importance on mental health awareness will blanket the nation. By pushing preventative measures in the courtroom and beyond,  we can address the issue of mental health with the vigor it deserves. 

So far, in the first few weeks of 2020, dozens of new laws pertaining to mental health are going into effect.  These laws branch from providing supportive resources for students, funding for maternal mental health, and the implementation of mental health training for teachers across state lines. 

From Detroit to Pennsylvania, policy makers have stressed the importance for an increase in public mental health services.  Governor Tom Wolf’s plan, “Reach out PA: Your Mental Health Matters,” plans to focus on preventaive measures on suicide and self harms, while at the same time aims to dismantle the problematice public pereception on mental health importance. 

Change is not solely dependent on lawmakers–the people of Ohio have shown that.  In Cleveland,  EMS workers took matters into their own hands to bring awareness to the consequences on their mental health as a result from stressful job experiences, like losing a patient. Though only 2 full weeks into the new year, a judge has already approved the EMS employee’s requests, citing the importance of preventative measures and support for those who commit to saving lives on a daily basis. 

Aside from policy makers, news and media outlets have also jumpstarted public awareness on the importance of this issue. One of the nation’s largest news sources, CNN, recently published an article promoting 5 ways to improve your mental health, stating that they “are clearing the way for mental health to be one of the key focuses of the new year. With continuing advocacy for awareness, compassion, and acceptance, we will break the stigma surrounding mental health and cement this issue as one that should not be over-looked.”

The stigma of struggling with mental health will not be erased until both international and domestic efforts are made to portray this topic as a universally-perceived, legitimate issue.  Based off of the strives already taken during the first few weeks of 2020, there is a strong hope that the future of mental health will match the importance of physical health at the end of the decade. 

 

About the Author

Cameron Gordon Cameron Gordon is a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara pursuing a double major in English and Spanish. Both passionate about writing and promoting the importance of mental health, Gordon aspires to attain a career centered around writing and education.

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