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“Ahead in the Count” 2020


In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime making America the country with the highest rate of mental illness. Despite ongoing research, the predictors of mental health disorders are still evasive, even for the most common, like depression. While a nation’s wealth factor would seem to have an impact, it’s clear from the data that the relationship is complex. Ron Kessler, Ph.D., the Harvard researcher who headed much of the WHO’s mental health research, says that by and large people in less-developed countries are less depressed: After all, he says, when you’re literally trying to survive, who has time for depression? Americans, on the other hand, many of whom lead relatively comfortable lives, blow other nations away in the depression factor, leading some to suggest that depression is a “luxury disorder.”


In the U.S., only 41.1 percent of people with mental health disorders receive treatment. In other parts of the world, treatment is highly correlated with how developed the country is, and with how much of the country’s gross domestic product is spent on healthcare. Better treatment rates are generally seen in nations with universal healthcare, according to Kessler. In the U.S., he says, it’s not the lowest socioeconomic class that has trouble (they have Medicaid, which usually covers it), it’s the second-lowest socioeconomic group that can’t get care. While treatment rates have gone up in recent years (especially for pharmaceuticals), the rate of mental health disorders has not changed much.


The acceptance that mental illness is a disease like any other, that if often inherited and cannot be turned on and off at will, is one of the biggest challenges facing diagnosis and treatment. Another roadblock for treatment is insurance coverage (see “Intentional Walk”) which has prescribed coverage regardless of the patients individual needs.


“Ahead in the Count” is made from the yarn, string, and glue from inside of found baseball and mounted inside a wig stand. It measures 14” high x 6’ wide x 6” deep. In baseball the term ahead in the count refers to whether the batter or the pitcher has the advantage in balls to strikes.

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