After a great deal of research we still do not know what mental illness is and what causes it. There seems to be only general ways of categorizing individuals suffering mental problems. Each person's illness tends to be unique. Some people are on extremely high levels of medication. Indeed, many have to rotate medications because the drugs lose their effectiveness.
It is no wonder spending on the treatment of mental illness has not increased in the last twenty years. Reforms carried out have not improved matters at all. When sufferers attempt suicide they are kept in the mental health section of public hospitals, given medication and sent on their way a day or so later. There is usually a little talk with them, but they are thrown out to deal with life's problems, alone.
Nearly half of Australia will have mental problems at some time in their lives. This is a frightening statistic. Furthermore, there is discrimination. In OECD countries Australia is near the bottom for the number of people in the workforce who have mental issues.
It is difficult to treat something that is not understood. If your hip or knee fails you, an operation providing a new joint is an option. For mental illness there are many medications that only seem to help for a short time. The only form of treatment that has been there from the beginning is talking to the patient. This will continue of course.