The US pays more per capita than any other nation for healthcare. And yet, we have the lowest standard of care of any developed nation. This is a problem in many obvious ways, like rationing of care (how long did you have to wait the last time you needed to see a specialist), and in other obvious ways like denial of care (you’re over your limit for the year; we won’t cover another radiation treatment.)
However, it is also a huge problem in terms of mental healthcare. I looked through fifty insurance plans, and none of them covered seeing a psychologist for talk therapy. Many covered seeing a psychiatrist to be sold pills that alter a person’s brain chemistry (Which, remember, was a drastic last resort in the 80’s, but due to profit margins, has become all you get in terms of mental healthcare now.)
Since drugs often make a problem worse (read the side-effects sometime) we have a huge population of people in desperate need of real help, and they are not getting any.
This is compounded by the military, who tell you “get help if you need it,” and then promptly push you out if you get help (thereby taking away both your job and your medical insurance when you need them most.)
So what do we end up with? Well, one of the direct effects is a large percentage of the homeless population. Another is many people who have a home, but are unable to connect with others and may end up hurting themselves or others because of it.
I would ask everyone in the US to take a good, long look at the mental healthcare system. Compare it to other places that have talk therapy and support programs. I think if you do, you will see that this is one of our biggest and least-talked about issues.