Category Access to Treatment

Locked Behind Door #1

JenniferInsurance-Related Challenges
In yesterday’s Expert Perspective, Ron Manderscheid outlined three common kinds of challenges to accessing mental health care: insurance-related, provider-related, and distance-related challenges. Over the next three days, we’ll hear personal stories from individuals who’ve experienced these roadblocks first-hand.

Today, we hear from Jennifer, who, like many of you, experienced insurance-related challenges first-hand.

Read More

Three Challenges to Accessing Care

Ron Mandersheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NACBHDD

Ron Manderscheid

On the May 1 “Access to Care” post, we asked, “If you or a family member needed care today for a mental health or substance use condition, would you be able to get it?”

Access to care can help prevent, delay, and treat mood disorders, other mental conditions, and co-occurring illnesses among the 45.6 million adults and 15.6 million children and youths who experience a mental health condition.

However, in reality:

  • Fewer than 40% of adults and youths with mental health conditions—including mood disorders—ever get any mental health services
  • Fewer than 7% of adults with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders get treatment for both.

Let’s explore access challenges to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral health conditions.

Read More

What does Harry Potter have to do with accessing mental health care?

Do you remember the scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Harry and his friends were trying to find their way to the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic?

Harry_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix_poster

The group arrived at a circular hall with several doors. The doors kept changing places, and the group’s progress was halted. Finding the right door was made almost impossible—aside from the fact that they weren’t entirely sure what they were looking for—by uncontrollable circumstances...

Read More

Three Examples of Sequestration Cutting Into Mental Health Care

How are you affected?

Estimating Impact
Mental Health America projected more than 1.13 million Americans could lose access to any kind of public mental health support.

The White House warned that “up to 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and seriously emotionally disturbed children could go untreated. This would likely lead to increased hospitalizations, involvement in the criminal justice system, and homelessness for these individuals.”

One article termed the sequester to be a “mental health crisis,” noting that some sequestration-related spending cuts had potential to be more devastating than others, both for individuals and society. For example, “a furlough for a Reston, Virginia, Defense Department worker doesn’t have the same consequences as it does for a young man with severe bipolar disorder waiting an extra month to see a psychiatrist.”

Read More

How the Federal Government Sequestration Impacts Mental Health Services

Care for Your Mind

Due to Congress’ stalemate in reducing the federal deficit, automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, are taking effect on federal government programs. Medicaid and Social Security are practically the only programs unaffected, and the Congress has begun scrambling to address the high-profile, high-impact cuts as they arise, such as providing relief for air traffic control. With spending being cut on a broad scale, what will sequestration mean in practical terms for people dealing with mental health conditions? Will the cuts affect you?

(For background information, read What is Sequestration? at USA.gov.)

The overriding concern about sequestration is that it has absolutely no precision: sequestration was designed to cut wide swaths through government, sparing no agency or program. This means that spending in every federal agency—from the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the FBI—and on every federal program—like the national parks, disaster relief, food safety inspection, and airport security—will be cut by 5 percent this year, and even more each year for the next nine years. And because of the delay in implementing sequestration, the cuts are more severe as reductions that would have been spread over 12 months are now crammed into 7 months instead.

(This interactive chart from the Washington Post provides estimates of the state-by-state impact of sequestration by category, based on White House estimates. Click on “Public Health” for the most relevant information.)

Read More

Problem Accessing Health Care?

Of the 333 people who have responded to our survey to date, 64% shared that they have experienced challenges obtaining mental health treatment for themselves or a family member in the past two years.

How about you? Take the full survey or the quick poll below.

[poll id=”2″]

Read More

Presidential Proclamation: Mental Health Awareness Month

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, so it seems the most fitting time for us to launch our conversation about finding solutions to the problems of our mental health care system. Currently, the U.S. government and the governments of the states are giving unprecedented attention to addressing mental health concerns. In this month and those to come, our Care for Your Mind community will strive to make policymakers understand the perspectives of, and challenges facing, individuals living with mental health conditions and their families. Your participation is invaluable.

It is our pleasu...

Read More

Access to Care

Ron ManderscheidRon Manderscheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NACBHDD

If you or a family member needed care today for a mental health or substance use condition, would you be able to get it? Mental health and substance use conditions, like depression or inappropriate use of alcohol, are real, treatable health problems. As with other health problems (like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease), people with mental or substance use conditions can lead healthy, productive lives when the health problem is diagnosed and treated. When identified and treated early, the severity and impact of these health issues, including damaging consequences to both the person being treated and her or his family, can be reduced. That’s why the process of getting care—what we refer to as gaining access—is critically important.

Read More