Our beloved celebrity chef and TV host, Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. Earlier Kate Spade died of suicide. Inspite of increasing popularity of telehealth solutions and value-care based solutions, mental healthcare has been neglected.
Since 1999, the national suicide rate has risen 28% as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mental illness is the biggest contributors to suicide. Mental health experts believe that the U.S. has witnessed a decline in funding for mental healthcare thus, contributing to the cause. The condition of the population that can’t afford out-of-pocket costs for mental health services worsens.
John Mann, a psychiatrist studying causes of depression and suicide at Columbia University, believes that there are many factors leading to rising suicide rates in America- 2008 financial crisis and also the current opioid epidemic. But, there is more to the causes.
The most important factor is the lack of recognition of psychiatric illness and its treatment. Out of the vast majority of suicide victims with psychiatric illness, 3 in 4 Americans weren’t under treatment at the time of their deaths.
The US has made extensive cuts in funds towards mental health over the last decade. Owing to the 2008 recession, states cut $4 billion towards public mental health funding.
It's alarming that the U.S. has a national strategy for suicide prevention but, it's unfunded and there is lack of government leadership to implement it. Only 55% of psychiatrists accept insurance plans as compared to other healthcare professionals according to the study published in JAMA Psychiatry.