The Mental Health Minute

Articles and news about mental health issues

UCLA: Little or no treatment for 2 million Californians with mental health problems

One and Other-Mental Health

Image by Feggy Art via Flickr


Here’s an article that describes just how poorly we, as a society, are doing in helping those who have a mental illness or are having emotional/psychological issues that are situational.  California leads the nation in the healthcare field.  This article is based on a study funded by the California Department of Mental Health.


The statistics in this article are certainly eye-opening.  If we continue to ignore this problem, it obviously is not going to go away.  Many people are suffering unnecessarily because of stigma, money, lack of availability of care, or just lack of knowledge about mental illness.


Do we really want to be ostriches with regard to the issue of mental health?  It seems we do.  Please read this article from the Central Valley Business Times and then let me know your opinion on this topic, won’t you?




December 5, 2011 10:42am


Serious psychological distress, event difficulty functioning, are commonplace


•  ‘There is a huge gap between needing help and getting help’

Nearly two million California adults need mental health treatment, but most receive no services or inadequate services, says a new report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.


The lack of treatment is in spite of a state law mandating that health insurance providers include mental health treatment in their coverage options, the report says.



How bad are the problems? The UCLA researchers say one in 12 Californians reported symptoms consistent with serious psychological distress and experienced difficulty functioning at home or at work.



Over half of these adults reported receiving no treatment for their disorders, and about one-quarter received “inadequate” treatment, defined as less than four visits with a health professional over the past 12 months or using prescription drugs to manage mental health needs.



The study draws on data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), which is conducted by the Center.



“There is a huge gap between needing help and getting help,” says David Grant, the study’s lead author and director of CHIS. “The data also shows large disparities in mental health status and treatment by demographic, economic and social factors. These findings can help direct the state’s limited resources to those in greatest need of help.”



Unsurprisingly, says the report, uninsured adults had the highest rate of unmet needs (87 percent), which includes receiving no treatment or receiving less than minimally adequate treatment; 66 percent of these adults received no treatment.



By contrast, 77 percent of privately insured and 65 percent of publicly insured Californians reported unmet needs. Although poverty and mental health needs are strongly correlated, the lower rate of unmet needs by public program participants suggests that these programs are more likely to effectively offer mental health services than even private insurance policies.



Other findings include:



• Single adults with children had more than double the rate of mental health needs (17 percent) when compared with all adults (8 percent). Single adults without children had the next highest rate (11 percent). Married adults with or without children had the lowest rates of mental health needs (6 percent and 5 percent, respectively.)



• Nearly 12 percent of Hispanics born in the U.S. needed mental health treatment, almost twice the level of Hispantic immigrants.



• Approximately 17 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives had mental health needs, the highest of all racial and ethnic groups. Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and multi-racial groups had the next highest rate, at 13 percent.



• Nearly 20 percent of these adults needed mental health treatment — more than double the statewide rate.



• Compared to the general adult population, those with mental health needs had higher rates of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and asthma. They were more than twice as likely to report fair or poor health status and five times more likely to report poor health.



The report was supported by a grant from the California Department of Mental Health.


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December 6, 2011 - Posted by | Mental Health | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] UCLA: Little or no treatment for 2 million Californians with mental health problems ( […]

    Pingback by California overhauls mental health department « The Mental Health Minute | December 18, 2011 | Reply

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