According to recent annual report, while the health care reforms, that were introduced, did seem to expand the coverage of mental health care for Americans it still left a lot of people unaided. The report states that about 56% of adult population living in the U.S. and suffering from mental illness are yet to receive the treatment that they require.
The nonprofit organization, MHA or Mental Health America reported that there are 40 million residents of America that are victims of mental diseases such as anxiety or depression. In spite of the new initiatives for mental health, 19% of adults in the states, suffering from mental illnesses and didn’t expand the Medicaid initiative, stay uninsured. Furthermore, the percentage of people that are uninsured even after the expansion of Medicaid in the states is 13%.
In a news release the CEO and president of MHA, Paul Gionfriddo, said that the reports are proof that a lot of Americans are sufferings while a large percentage is not getting the right treatment needed to live a productive and healthy life. He further explained that no one is safe from mental diseases. For this reason, it is important to improve the access people have to treatments and care while a premium need to be put when it comes to the identification of mental illness during its early stages. Additionally, early intervention is also equally important for people that have mental health concerns.
Mental illness refers to a number of conditions and disorders including substance abuse, eating disorders, addiction, and schizophrenia, etc. Left untreated, they cost the U.S. more than a billion dollars every year in direct, workplace, and suicide-related costs. According to CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, depression itself was responsible for an economic burden worth $210.5 billion.
According to the CDC, effective treatments today are available. However, victims of depression either don’t have access to the treatment that they need, or they don’t take advantage of these services. If depression is not treated effectively, it has a risk of becoming a chronic disease. If a person experiences only one episode of depression, then he or she is at a 50% risk of experiencing a second episode. Consequently, the chance of having further episodes increases as time goes on.
The MHA reports prove that six people out of ten young individuals that are victims of depression do not get any treatment. This lack of access to mental health care is related to higher rates of incarceration in MHA states. The latest report by the nonprofit organization found that there are more than 1.2 million people in prisons and jails in the U.S. that are mentally ill, yet they don’t have the coverage that they need.
MHA considered 15 various measures with which they could rank the 50 states and the District of Columbia with regards to their mental health. These rankings provide an overview of the planning and policies of the state regarding coverage of mental health and the support available for the mentally ill youth. Connecticut was ranked as the best state for mental health while Nevada was ranked as the worst.
In this recent report, MHA also came up with the result that for every thousand people in the U.S., only one professional for mental health is available.