Our country’s need to address mental health needs has been much discussed of late, and rightly so. A quote from Scot Adams, behavioral health director for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, helps explain the importance.
He tells The World-Herald: “Twenty-five percent of all general hospital beds are filled by a person who is being treated for the effects of a behavioral health disorder but not for the disorder itself. A person is getting his wrist stitched up, but he’s not being treated for his depression. A person is being treated for cirrhosis of the liver, but not for his alcoholism.”
In short, for a considerable portion of Americans, mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment are connected directly to an individual’s overall health.
“We as a state and country need to understand that behavioral health is essential to health,” Adams says.
That is exactly right. Which is why Nebraska should make sure that in setting its priorities for state funding, mental health and substance abuse treatment are given proper consideration.