The Deteriorating State of Mental Health in Baltimore: Is There a Solution? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

The Deteriorating State of Mental Health in Baltimore: Is There a Solution?

According to recent reports, there are dozens of mentally ill women and men who have been accused of committing different crimes. These people are currently languishing in jails across Baltimore. In spite of the court orders of Maryland to send these prisoners to hospitals for treatment and mental health evaluation, no steps have been taken. The State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported that there are not enough staff or beds to treat new mental health patients. In fact, the shortage has gone up to 80% of those who are admitted in these departments, all of who are coming via the criminal justice system.

Who is to be blamed for this poor state of the mental health system in Baltimore? The Union officials blame the cost-saving or cost-cutting policy of the state where they push this mental health care onto the private sector. The capacity for psychiatric inpatient declined by around 3,000 beds. This had disaster spelled all over it, so it was no surprise that this actually turned into a full-on crisis.

A few numbers on Baltimore mental health disorders

Mental illness is nothing but a medical condition which bars the feeling, thinking, mood and ability of a person to be able to relate to others and function properly. Here are a few statistics that will give you a clear picture of the state of mental health in Baltimore.

  • 1 in 5 adults experience some kind of mental illness in any year. Around 175,000 people in the Baltimore city are presently living with some type of mental health condition.
  • Around 8.5 million Americans witness co-occuring substance use and mental health disorders.
  • 25% of adolescents and children are aged between 13 and 18 and they live with some kind of mental health condition. 55% of the lifetime cases of mental disorders are seen to begin by the age of 15 years.
  • As per the National Institute of Mental Health, mental illness has been seen to be the ultimate cause of disability in the US, particularly the major depressive disorder.

The impact of mental disorders which are left untreated

  • Just 55% of adults with a mental health disorder received some kind of treatment in any year.
  • Individuals who have been living with serious mental health disorders face an enhanced risk of suffering from chronic medical conditions. People with mental illness die around 25 years earlier than their actual life expectancy rate.

What is the solution?

As the city of Baltimore is going through a very poor state of mental health, conducting your own due diligence with regards to your mental health can have a great impact on your overall well-being. It seems like the state isn’t taking the necessary steps to protect its citizens. You can check out mental health blogs like E-counseling.comor Psychology Today for more details on handling mental illnesses by seeking the help of experts and/or by opting for self-care.

If you’re a resident of Baltimore, make sure you don’t rely too much on the mental health care system and rather take your own care in your own hands to ensure a better life. It’s a sad, harsh reality, and one with seemingly no solution in sight.





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