Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Less Than Half of California’s Mentally Ill Get Treatment

Roughly one in 12 adults in California report having serious mental health needs, but more than 50 percent of these individuals failed to get treatment. This according to a new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. For the study, researchers used 2007 survey data. They found that traditionally disadvantaged groups such as American Indians and Alaska Natives, mixed-race Californians, and lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults reported higher levels of mental health needs than other groups. The researchers also noted that increased needs were associated with a lack of insurance coverage and higher rates of chronic health conditions. These findings counter earlier research showing the benefits that accrued from California’s Mental Health Services Act of 2004, which imposed a tax on those with annual incomes over $1 million that was used to fund an expansion of mental health services. Read more about the state’s approach to meeting mental health needs in Psychiatric News.

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