Mental illness is treatable – and more so now than any time in history. Thanks to medical technology and innovative research, we are learning more and more about the human brain and how it functions. Medications are being developed to address the biochemical component of mental illness, and continue to improve. Scientific research and scrutiny are being applied to talk therapy (counseling) to find the best practices and effective methods. Counselors and therapists are bound by ethical codes and are required to obtain continuing education to stay on top of the latest in knowledge and research.
People are more aware of mental illness and are coming to understand many mental illnesses as medical issues, helping to reduce stigma. Thanks to the Internet, people can find on-line support groups and information about mental illness and resources.
It also seems that more people are starting to recognize and accept counseling as a resource to help people cope with crises, deal with personal problems, and improve relationship skills—improving one’s quality of life and preventing more serious problems in the future.
Mental health treatment is still a young field. It isn’t perfect, but it is progressing. I am confident that our knowledge of mental illness and the effectiveness of treatments will continue to improve in coming years. I hope that, along with it, we will be able to make mental health care both more acceptable and accessible to those who can benefit from it.