There has been a meme in the past few years called Florida Man. In it, it highlights all the bizarre crimes and situations that many people in Florida seem to find themselves in.
Florida man beats ATM, says it gave him too much cash
Drunk Florida Man Uses Taco as ID
The list goes on, ranging from funny incidents to some depraved acts of violence. One reason for these whacky headlines is because Florida’s laws allow journalists to obtain information much easier than other states. However, another reason is that Florida has a mental health crisis. While Florida Man headlines can be funny, they highlight a darker issue in Florida, and in the US at large, and that is a population that needs mental health treatment.
- Let’s Look at the Facts
According to the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, Florida’s mental health crisis is eye-opening. There are over 650,000 adults living with a mental illness that is serious. Then, there are over 181,000 children who are dealing with the same thing. This is just accounting for the serious mental illnesses. There are probably even more who have mild mental illnesses or are diagnosed. Not to mention, people who have developed mental health problems thanks to abusing drugs or alcohol.
Even an occasional bout of depression can be devastating on an adult and requires the most care possible. But too many people in Florida don’t get the mental health treatment they need. With Florida, it isn’t just the poor and marginalized who aren’t receiving treatment, either. Florida is 49 in the rankings when it comes to the best mental health programs. They only spend $37.28 per person annually.
Mental health treatment should be something that more people are aware of. Counseling, diagnosis, and medicines should be more available to the public. Someone should not be ashamed to find the treatment they need. And yet, too many Americans, and especially Floridians, are dealing with an undiagnosed condition or a condition that is not receiving any treatment.
As for how much the state is spending on treatment, it is over $700 million. Meanwhile, they spend a billion every year on the prison system. Too many people are going to prison for petty crimes rather than receiving mental health treatment.
- What Can You Do?
It’s difficult for a single person to make a difference, but it’s possible. Obviously, too many people are suffering for you to help everyone. Adults, children, and our veterans are dealing with all sorts of problems.
Here are a few things you can do to help.
- If someone is dealing with a mental health issue, be empathetic and listen to what they have to say. Obviously, you can’t help all your friends, but what you can do is be there for them and recommend them receive the mental health treatment they deserve. People can receive treatment in person or from services such as Regain.
- Spread the word about May’s Mental Health Awareness Month. All it takes is a few clicks.
- If you suspect you or a family member has a mental illness, try being diagnosed and receive the mental health treatment you need.
- Remember to keep your mental health up even if you don’t have an illness. Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and don’t forget to talk to someone if you need to express your feelings.
- Donate to the less fortunate. Oftentimes, that homeless person needs mental health treatment more than anyone else.
These are just a few ways you can help. Perhaps one day, there will be less Florida Mans for the world to see.