April is Autism Awareness Month, which was created in order to increase education about the growing need for concern and awareness about autism.
Increasing awareness is particularly important for residents of Colorado, which has a serious problem when it comes to funding mental healthcare.
Nationally, Colorado is ranked 32 out of 50 in terms of public funding of mental health, and that translates into serious problems for treating those with mental disorders. It means that three in ten people who need mental health care (or about 1.5 million Coloradans) are not getting it. It means that it will be harder for mental health specialists to reach and treat people with disorders, especially for those who cannot make the trip to Denver or Colorado Springs, where many such specialists reside and operate.
This needs to change, especially with the increasing number of cases of disorders cropping up amongst American children. For instance, in the spirit of Autism Awareness Month, data collected by the Centers for Disease Control in 2008 showed that the rate of children having an autism spectrum disorder is now 1 in 88. That rate is a significant rise from where it was in 2000, where it was around 1 in 150.
The rising prevalence of mental health conditions means that having an under-funded health care system for mental health will only get more problematic as time progresses. The support of greater funding and more research into treatment options will go a long way to help alleviate the current stresses to our mental healthcare system as well as to circumvent future mental healthcare issues.