Severe, disabling mental illness has dramatically increased in the United States.
“The tally of those who are so disabled by mental disorders that they qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) increased nearly two and a half times between 1987 and 2007 — from one in 184 Americans to one in 76. For children, the rise is even more startling — a thirty-five-fold increase in the same two decades,” – Marcia Angell, New York Times Book Review.
Angell also reports that a large survey of adults conducted between 2001 and 2003 sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health found that at some point in their lives, 46 percent of Americans met the criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association for at least one mental illness.
Mental Health in Winter Haven
So what is happening? What is at the root of this change in the American psyche? Some mental health professionals attribute this to over diagnosis and the prevalence and push for “big Pharma” to influence our lives. Even if that is true, Americans seem willing and wanting to acknowledge that they feel like “something is wrong” with their interior lives. In my counseling practice at Heart for Winter Haven, the dominant need I hear is for people to have significant connections in their life with people that they can trust, with people that they believe are for them. I’d like to see what difference a community of people could make in lives of those who feel lost and disconnected if a Neighboring Movement took hold in Winter Haven. While there would still be the need for professional mental health counseling, active neighboring might provide the kind of supports that people tell me are missing in their lives. Well-being is a measure of personal satisfaction that is nested in and reflects the greater community.
Let’s put an end to loneliness and hopelessness in Winter Haven!
Visit the Center for Well-Being page for more information.