Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MH Care Access Blocked by Stigma, Ambivalence, Cost

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, APA President-elect Jeffery Lieberman, M.D., was interviewed by CBS News and "Charlie Rose" yesterday.

Why do these kinds of tragedies happen? Lieberman was asked in one interview. Perhaps some of this violence might be prevented if there were less stigma about mental illness and its treatment, he said. “We don’t do enough in our society to make available state-of-the-art mental health services,” he told CBS correspondent John Miller. Americans are still ambivalent or embarrassed about seeking mental health care. In addition, the nation still hasn’t developed the infrastructure to properly provide care, and inadequate insurance makes it difficult for many people to afford it.

The interview with Lieberman can be accessed here. For information that can be shared with patients, parents, and other members of the public, APA has posted a number of resources on its Web site regarding coping with tragedy. More information for psychiatrists can also be found in Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness, Evaluation, and Treatment

(Image: Sascha Burkard/Shutterstock.com)


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