New study shows most US citizens believe country is in mental health crisis

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:14 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:31 PM CDT
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MAMMOTH SPRING, Ark. (KAIT) - In the last few years, mental health has gained more and more awareness, trying to get help to those who need it the most.

According to a CNN Health article, nine out of ten US citizens believe the country has a mental health crisis.

A poll of nearly 2000 US citizens was asked to rate the severity of six specific mental health concerns.

More than half labeled mental health issues among teenagers and children a crisis, including mental illness in adults.

That same article shows data from the CDC explained drug overdose deaths reached much higher levels than ever before, and suicide rates skyrocketed after a two-year decline.

In Northeast Arkansas, some of the above statistics prove to be true.

In Independence County, Sheriff Shawn Stephens said his office has seen an increase in some drugs in the past few months.

“We are starting to see, the meth has stayed pretty consistent, but we are starting to see an increase in pills and an increase in fentanyl,” Stephens said.

Mental Health and Wellness on Main is a month and a half old Mental Health Service Clinic on Main Street in Mammoth Spring.

For only being open a short time, the clinic already has around 100 patients.

Laura Young is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at the facility.

She says due to a strained mental health system, some struggling with mental health issues may have turned to substances that were not meant for them.

“I think that there was such a limited access to mental healthcare that a fraction of people that resorted to substance use outside of prescription medications for their mental health needs,” Young said.

A few places in North Arkansas offer mental healthcare as a specialty, but Young says she sees patients that have never been to a therapist.

“I am seeing patients who are seeing me for the first time ever or are rationing out medications because they could not get in with another provider elsewhere, or they couldn’t drive that far, they didn’t have the money necessary to see the provider, and I’m also seeing people that have suffered for years with medications that cause a lot of side effects that were not being heard,” Young said.

If you or someone you know are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call 988 for help.

The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.