A huge number of persons who are in jail get a mental diagnosis after going to jail and never receive treatment. Mass shootings are a cry for help. What if we could have help these shooters learn to cope with their plight before they decided to pick up a gun? Reducing crime by teaching coping skills and providing access to needed medications is a viable method of reducing the cost of incarceration, saves lives, and is the morally correct avenue of dealing with crime.
Indeed we do need better mental health care in this country, particularly in the area of accessibility for the indigent. One damning statistic is that 75% of the homeless have some form of mental illness. Mental health care cannot be a luxury available for just the wealthy - it must be a basic right for all. The consequences otherwise would be too great.
Psychiatry has too rigid a construction of what an emotion is. They are just narratives(how you think about it, how you frame it in your mind) that typically attach themselves to certain behavioral patterns with attached narratives, change how you think about it and depression can turn into "being in a habit of sleeping too much,... While carrying on this narrative of blah blah blah" and then throwing away the narrative and saying "I am choosing to be happy(or content what ever word works for you) just because why not, happy in a purely narrative sense that doesn't reflect in behavior" it becomes easier to manage than trying to manage it as "depression" and in time the behaviors that weren't moving you towards your goals begin to change as you naturally focus more on your goals.
Although I'm not about to chuck out the concept of emotion entirely. The mere fact of our existence means we must do and then we are necessarily through our actions attracted to certain things (love) and repelled from others (fear). So you at least have to have that (or some other terms to refer to the same things). My contention is that emotions are subjective but real, they are mind tools for organizing your mind and through the mind behavior. So a person should feel free to not cling to a certain narrative explanation of why they did/said X, Y, or Z when they were a kid and be willing to re-conceptualize even retroactively about one's own emotions it if it's in their best interests.
When examining a patient a team, not just one shrink, a team should brainstorm the possible "narratives" that could go with the person's circumstances in a constructive way that will help them rather than going "ahah!" and possibly hoisting a bad narrative onto a patient. We know we've reached the right narrative when it works.
Yet many psychiatrists are happy to either ask just a few questions and suggest a solution instead of suggesting solutionS. Through its short history psychology has always had glaring mistakes (drapetomania, lobotomies) yet at each stage psychologists have acted as though they know it all rather than pursuing their profession with a profound sense of humility and the understanding that human knowledge of the mind will never be truly complete because we can only gain knowledge of it with people's minds. In 100 years there will likely be a whole lot of things people are shaking their heads over at psychiatry looking back.
There are so many reasons why mental health care should be improved that it is impossible to exhaust all of them. In particular though, better mental health care will undoubtedly reduce crime rates as the mentally unstable will have better access to the medication and counseling that they need to remain functioning and contributing members of society without leading to violent outbursts like we've seen recently around the US. Also, improving mental health care would lead to more people seeking out and sticking with any help that they receive because the benefits of doing so would outweigh the costs of stopping.
Right now it seems like more people are suffering from mental issues. The doctor gives the a pill as all is well. Or so we think. We have got to crack down on the mentally ill. If they could afford better treatment, I think they would be more willing to get the help they need.
Mental health care and how to pay the bills to help out a loved one going through a difficult time should not have to be on our mind. We should be able to help that person without having to worry about the money it will cost. So, yes, we do need better mental health care.
No, we do not need better mental health care. What we need to do is remove the stigma associated with mental health issues. Too many cases of depression, anxiety, and many other disorders go undiagnosed and untreated simply because people are too ashamed to seek help. The help is available. We need to remove the barriers that are preventing people from seeking and accepting assistance with these issues.