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The mental healthcare system needs a dramatic intervention: A commentary by John MacPhee

June 08, 2022

Youth_mental_health_FatCamera_GettyImages-1317882681The mental healthcare system in the United States needs a dramatic intervention. At best, our system is fragmented, siloed, and plagued by misaligned incentives that only deepen existing problems; at worst, critics might conclude that providing timely, effective mental health care to people in need is not its goal. Structural fixes are desperately needed to ensure equitable access to quality mental health care for everyone who needs it.

This includes our young people, who now face a worsening mental health crisis, exacerbated by a perfect storm of stressors including social unrest, acts of violence, bias and oppression directed at people of color and LBGTQ+ individuals, and the loss, grief, and isolation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis urgently needs to be addressed, even if our mental health system is not designed to help everyone who needs it—which means that we must pursue all viable options. And partnerships with philanthropic organizations will be critical in turning the tide of this crisis.

In this country, almost one in three young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 and one in four teenagers experience a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety. However, fewer than half of young people who needed mental health care in 2020 received it. Even for those who are brave enough to seek help, it is still heartbreakingly difficult to get the timely, affordable care they need....

Read the full commentary by John MacPhee, CEO of The Jed Foundation.

(Photo credit: Getty Images/FatCamera)

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