Bryce Gowdy A Life Gone Too Soon
According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Gowdy was hit by a freight train just after 4 a.m. in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He was taken to the hospital where he died.
Gowdy was a wide receiver at Deerfield Beach High School. Georgia Tech said he finished his high school coursework a semester early and was expected to move to metro Atlanta this weekend and start classes on Monday, Jan. 6.
Bryce was just days away from enrolling at Georgia Tech in Atlanta on a football scholarship when he died, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale. The young student athlete, however, was struggling with leaving his family, who were homeless and staying in a hotel, the newspaper reported.
Thomas Gowdy, Bryce’s uncle, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that his nephew was the head of the household.
“There was neglect from one side [of the family] and too much responsibility from the other side,” he said. (Reference: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/florida-high-school-football-star-hit-train-suicide-was-under-n1109276)
Mental Health Crisis In The world we live in
Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan. There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.
Why are there more prisons than mental health facilities? I went searching for the answer and I came across the two articles below:
African American Mental Health
Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, your concerns or experiences and how you understand and cope with these conditions may be different.
Although anyone can develop a mental health problem, African Americans sometimes experience more severe forms of mental health conditions due to unmet needs and other barriers. According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 10% more likely to experience serious psychological distress.
African Americans, like many minority communities, are also more likely to experience socioeconomic disparities such as exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources. These disparities may contribute to worse mental health outcomes.
Issues To Consider
Different reasons prevent African Americans from seeking treatment and receiving quality care.
Lack Of Information And Misunderstanding About Mental Health
In the African American community, many people misunderstand what a mental health condition is and don’t talk about this topic. This lack of knowledge leads many to believe that a mental health condition is a personal weakness or some sort of punishment from God. African Americans may be reluctant to discuss mental health issues and seek treatment because of the shame and stigma associated with such conditions.
Many African Americans also have trouble recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, leading to underestimating the effects and impact of mental health conditions. Some may think of depression as “the blues” or something to snap out of.
Because of the lack of information about mental health issues, it’s not always clear where to find help when you may need it. Fortunately, you came to the right place to learn about what mental health conditions are and how to access treatments and supports.
Faith, Spirituality And Community
In the African American community, family, community and spiritual beliefs tend to be great sources of strength and support. However, research has found that many African Americans rely on faith, family and social communities for emotional support rather than turning to health care professionals, even though medical or therapeutic treatment may be necessary.
Imprisoning America’s Mentally Ill
by Ed Lyon
Since the 1962 publication of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a mirror image of the best-selling novel’s plot has played out in U.S. prisons. Author Ken Kasey wrote a work of fiction about a prisoner who was sent to a mental hospital. In fact, mentally ill Americans are often denied the treatment they need and instead end up in prisons and jails. It happens so often that correctional facilities have become the de facto source for mental health services.
From the 1960s to the present the U.S. incarceration rate more than tripled, and around 2.2 million people are currently incarcerated nationwide. During that same period of time, the population of institutionalized mental patients shrank by 90 percent to under 60,000. Alisa Roth, author of Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness, estimates that half of U.S. prisoners suffer from a mental illness, since the lack of other treatment options means they are more likely to end up behind bars.
“It’s unpleasant, it’s loud, it’s claustrophobic,” she said of units that house mentally ill prisoners.
As a result, large urban jail systems in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City are now the largest psychiatric care providers in the nation. In Chicago’s Cook County jail system, the proportion of its 6,000 prisoners with mental illness has increased to 33 percent. Sheriff Tom Dart has instituted staff training on mental health issues; the jail also offers individual and group therapy in its Mental Health Transition Center, and its Supportive Release Center provides food, clothing, access to showers and referrals for longer-term care needs.
In 2018, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported that 14 percent of prisoners in state and federal facilities met the criteria for having serious mental health conditions. In local jails the number was 26 percent. Only five percent of the general population meets those criteria, according to the BJS. Mental illness also affects a higher percentage of female prisoners than males.
According to federal data, 40 percent of prisoners were diagnosed with a mental health disorder between 2011 and 2014. Every year two million people with psychological problems are jailed, based on estimates by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. A 2016 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center found that mentally ill prisoners stay locked up longer, cost more to house and are more likely to commit suicide and be placed in solitary confinement.
The costs of incarcerating the mentally ill are significant. In Michigan, where mental illness afflicts a quarter of the state’s 41,000 prisoners, it costs $95,000 a year to house each one, compared to $35,000 for prisoners without mental health problems. For the mentally ill who are not incarcerated, the state spends just $6,000 each per year, on average.