Half of all Americans will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. Mental health disorders cross cultural, social, economic and political party lines. They affect us all, our friends, our families and our communities. When effective mental health care is unavailable or inaccessible the cost is substantial. We all pay whether in increased hospitalizations, workforce loss, broken relationships, abuse, incarceration or actual loss of life.
THE CURRENT STATE OF MENTAL HEALTH
Rates of mental illness are on the rise in the U.S. and more than half of adults diagnosed are not receiving treatment, according to the latest data from advocacy group Mental Health America. Rates of youth depression rose from 8.5% to 11.1% from 2011 to 2014. Of those with severe depression, 80% are not receiving any or sufficient treatment.
Nearly 1 in 6 California adults has a mental health need, and approximately 1 in 20 suffers from a serious mental illness that makes it difficult to carry out major life activities. 1 in 13 California children suffer from a mental illness that limits participation in daily actives reports the California Healthcare Foundation.
© 2017 Mental Health America
BARRIERS TO CARE
Once a person recognizes that they may have a mental health problem, finding support (especially the right kind of support) is often difficult. A 2017 report from Mental Health America identifies several systemic barriers to accessing care:
- Lack of insurance or inadequate insurance
- Lack of available treatment providers
- Lack of available treatment types (inpatient treatment, individual therapy, intensive community services)
- Insufficient finances to cover costs – including copays, uncovered treatment types, or when providers do not take insurance.
Unfortunately having insurance does not mean access to needed treatment. For those who do receive treatment, prescription medication is the most common treatment received. Other effective interventions focused on whole-person care are rare.
FILLING THE GAPS
The above barriers to care may seem daunting to some. To us here at Beautiful Minds Wellness they are the spark that lights our fire. We believe that as a community working together, we can begin to fill in these gaps. We are passionate about reaching more people with whole-person mental health care because at our core we believe that every person’s mind is beautiful and deserves the opportunity to reach it’s full potential. Add to that the healing power of the creator who made the human mind and we are optimistic that our small efforts can turn into large waves of relief for many seeking hope and healing.
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