In a time when mental illnesses are at an all time high, affecting 1 in 5 adults, there are not enough resources for individuals to seek treatment. A mental illness is a condition that impacts a person's thinking, feeling or mood, and may impact their ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests that a mental health condition can be caused by multiple factors. Genetics, environment and lifestyle may influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. Biochemical processes and circuits as well as basic brain structure may also play a role too.
Often times, mental illnesses are overlooked and not taken seriously by members of society. In many cases, it is not until an individual with a mental illness lashes out and commits a crime that they are given the slightest bit of attention, and usually their punishment is to spend time in jail when instead they should be receiving help. Because our country does not have adequate services for individuals with mental illnesses, individuals with mental illnesses do not have the proper resources to receive the help they need.
While it is not guaranteed that having more resources for individuals with mental illnesses will stop all crimes from happening, it is likely that there would be a significant decrease in serious crimes committed by those diagnosed with mental illnesses. Prisons should not be becoming new mental asylums. Instead, a serious step needs to be taken that offers all types of assistance to those dealing with mental illnesses, and works to de-stigmatize those with mental illnesses.
"Mental Health Conditions." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. Https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions, 2015. Web. 04 June 2015. <https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions>.