Essay about Severe Or Chronic Mental Illness

2137 Words Dec 12th, 2016 9 Pages
INTRODUCTION
Serious Mental Illness (SMI) – also called severe or chronic mental illness – can be defined as mental infirmities that affect individuals long enough to result “… in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. … All of these disorders have episodic, recurrent, or persistent features; however, they vary in terms of severity and disabling effects” (Federal Register, 1993). Grave forms of depression and a wide range of psychotic disorders are in this group.
Several data show the relevance of these illnesses to Houston’s reality. According to the Mental Health Needs Council of Harris County (2015), about 516,000 out of three million adults in the area suffered from a psychiatric disorder in 2015. Almost 143,000, or 4.5%, struggled with a severe mental disorder. These figures endorse the 2014 national average of 4.2% Americans suffering from SMI, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2014) .
As impressive as the number of people affected is that, by 2015, 62% of them did not have access to any public or private mental treatment in Houston (Mental Health Need Council of Harris County, 2015). Once again, the Federal statistics corroborate this rate, showing that only 63% of all adults with a severe psychiatric disorder received psychiatric services in 2014 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - SAMHSA, 2014). The reasons include the lack of…

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