Despite the fact that the world is becoming more and more open-minded these days, some things are apparently still quite difficult to understand. And one of these issues is without a doubt represented by mental health issues. Whether they are underestimated, overestimated, or just simply misunderstood, it’s obvious that we need to raise awareness on the subject.
And some patients suffer more than others from this lack of understanding. For example, Hawaii wants to improve mental health care for suicidal teens, as it has become one of the states where suicide is a leading cause of death for citizens under the age of eighteen.
Lowering the age of consent
The House Judiciary Committee has considered a bill on Tuesday which would lower the age of consent from eighteen to twelve in regards to receiving mental health care. This would allow mental health professionals the right whether to involve parents in the therapy sessions or not when dealing with minors seeking treatment.
While some are arguing against the bill, stating that it will further enlarge the rift between parents and children, others argue that it would simply allow the children more freedom of expression during the therapy sessions. For example, it would help suicidal, sexually confused (or simply still in the closet), and even abused children and teenagers to talk more freely, without fearing the judgment or retribution of their parents.
Not the first state
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Awareness, Hawaii is among the top ten states with the highest rates of teenage suicide attempts. Of course, nobody is acceptant of that statistic, and state officials are apparently actually making an effort to combat the unfortunate trend.
But despite critiques of the proposed bill, Hawaii wouldn’t be the first state to pass something of the kind. In fact, some twenty other states already have similar laws, primarily drafted to protect and to insure that children and teenagers are free and safe to discuss any issues they might need to talk about.
Current state of mental health care
Still, even if the bill were to pass, the state of mental health care in Hawaii is nowhere near perfect. There are multiple issues the state is facing regarding its mental therapy center. One of them would be that the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division is being audited since it has received some $63 million to operate this year and the next, and nothing seems to have improved so far.
Also, there are only two mental health care facilities for teens in the entire state, and both of them are on the Oahu Island. Understandably, it’s very difficult for children and teenagers that feel pressure from their parents to actually get access to any relevant mental treatment.
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