According to The American Heritage Dictionary (n.d.), mental illness is any of various conditions characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma. Mental illness affects the way a person thinks or behaves. Bipolar, schizophrenia, and depression are among the most common mental illnesses people hear about today. It is far more difficult to spot a mental illness than a physical illness because a mental illness is not always apparent. The difference being, physical illness can be seen, and mental illness can hide, even masquerade it’s symptoms for long periods of time without any treatment. Some mental illnesses can be cured through the assistance of a psychiatrist or counselor. Depression is one such mental illness. Quite often when someone is feeling depressed for extended periods of time, having someone who will listen, and not make judgments is all that is needed. Other mental illnesses such as schizophrenia require a doctor to prescribe medication to keep the systems under control. While medication can help the patient live a normal life, it will not cure schizophrenia.
In regards to providing needed services to the mentally ill the concept of deinstitutionalization has been effective. State and federal money has been used to fund services for outpatient care. These services include medication, and counseling. Halfway homes have also shown a great deal of promise for the mentally ill. Halfway homes provide a residence for a select group of patients, and allow the patient to live a normal productive life.
There are people that oppose the mentally ill being allowed to live freely in society. This opposition comes from not understanding what deinstitutionalization really is, and not knowing what is in the best interest of...