Mental Health Center Founder Discusses Inadequate Mental Health Treatment in America After Newtown Tragedy

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Public stigma, inadequate care opportunities and inability to provide case management hamper mental health treatment in America.

Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

“Mental health treatment is woefully inadequate in America today. There are too many challenges and too few opportunities for those that need help.”

Many questions about mental health disorders and the state of mental health treatment in America are circulating after the devastating massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Although more and more Americans are seeking treatment for mental health disorders, there are significant obstacles that an individual faces when seeking recovery.

“Mental health treatment is woefully inadequate in America today,” said Ben Brafman, CEO and founder of the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center. “There are too many challenges and too few opportunities for those that need help.”

Brafman, with more than twenty years of experience in behavioral health and counseling, has seen more and more clients seeking mental health treatment in the last several years.

“Budget cuts have closed many mental health treatment centers and dramatically reduced the treatment opportunities at others.”

According to patients and mental health counselors, treatment for mental illness is often seen as an acute solution to a chronic problem, an equation that does not work for most patients.

“Most of the time, with a mental health illness, you are sent to a hospital for short term crisis stabilization,” said James, a young man suffering from mental illness whose full name is not being used to protect his privacy. “So after a few days, you go home and right back to where you were before."

Specialized, private treatment centers, like the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center often focus on providing long-term case management and care, treating mental illness with the goal of long-term symptom management and support. For many individuals this can mean the difference between long-term healthy living or a disappointing recovery.

"At Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center, the program I attended was 30 days so I had time to process what had happened and deal with things," said James. "The fact that the program was longer term meant that I could get over the initial crisis and then process my feelings.”

Public stigma has been one of the most significant challenges for people who suffer from mental health disorders. In fact, many people avoid seeking treatment because they are afraid of what others may say. Although opinions and public feelings have changed towards women who seek mental health treatment, the same is not true for men. Young men, aged 20-35 are particularly vulnerable to mental health disorders, and are the least likely to seek treatment.

“Many men feel that seeking help is not-manly or a sign of weakness,” said Brafman. “In fact, it is just the opposite.”

The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center treats individuals suffering from a wide variety of mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Through specialized treatment programs and long-term case management, clients work with their treatment team to develop a comprehensive plan that has long-term quality of life improvement in mind. The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center treats individuals from all over the country and offers partial-hospitalization, intensive outpatient (IOP), and aftercare programming. For more information on mental health treatment opportunities, please contact The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center at 1- 888-205-2775.

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The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center is a full service mental health facility located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Dedicated to helping individuals who suffer from mental illness find a path to living better, The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center offers treatment and support for a wide variety of mood and thought disorders including: depression, anxiety disorders, anger management, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. For more information on mental health treatment please contact The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center at 1-888-205-2775 or online at http://www.mentalhealthcenter.org.

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Alton Smith
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