• Elias Aceves

Mental Health and Disability

Mental Health and Disability : Ignored in the Mental Health Sector

There is an increased prevalence of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety among people with disabilities, culminating into a complex issue. Mental health disability will of course bring about challenges which causes one to have a higher likelihood to develop these type of disorders. 

However, the key to understanding these patterns is the barriers that disabled people face when trying to get healthcare. And these are usually prior to actually getting treatment and seeking help, such as an inability to accommodate to those with disabilities.

Many mentally disabled people simply can’t just go see a therapist due to physical inhibitions, and if they are able, then they often feel ostracized in the place they should feel safest due to their disability being looked down upon by others, including therapists. Many times, therapists may turn down clients in need of an appointment and rather set up one with abled-bodied people since they perceive it to be drastically less difficult for them to treat them.

This is the exact reason why those in the disabled community deserve therapists which reflect their experience. Many people believe that this can be solved by exercises and workshops, but prejudice is hard to erase. That is why the most effective manner of getting disabled people mental help is by letting them gain access to therapists who genuinely understand their struggle. And that is precisely, what AYANA intends to do.

Statistics of Disability in Mental Health

Mental Health Disability

Though the image above shows some disheartening statistics, we must delve deeper into the statistics provided to us by the image, where the most critical to analyze must be the poverty rate. 13.5% of Americans lived in poverty in 2015, however, 20% of disabled Americans were in poverty in that corresponding year.

The disproportionate representation of disabled Americans being in poverty reveals how income also plays a huge role in disabled people being able to access mental therapy services, as disabled people are more likely to be barred from therapy due to cost.

26.2 million Americans were also found in general to have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and both major and persistent depressive episode disorder. And out of those with these disorders, 7 million were found to have had a disability with interferes with their daily life.

That means that 26.7% of those with the previously-mentioned disorders have a disability, despite those with a disability only being 12.6% in the United States. Again, we see that disabled individuals have a higher chance to develop such disorders, which is why they need the attention, accommodation, and treatment they deserve. 

AYANA, Disability, and Acknowledgement

As we mentioned in the first part of this article, AYANA is committed to granting those with mental disabilities a chance to get the treatment they deserve. We seek to match our clients with therapists of similar backgrounds, and that is no different for those with mental disabilities.

We understand that clients want to enter spaces which they feel they won’t be judged and should only focus on improving their mental stability, rather than other things which may arise if they have a therapist they simply aren’t comfortable with. Everyone deserves this type of space when seeking therapy, and through our intersectional emphasis, we commit to match clients with therapists who fit their background and addresses their unique needs.

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