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UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research has looked at the mental health needs of Californians and the state is in trouble. Nearly two million adults or 8% of the population are in need of mental health treatment but the majority do not receive it. Despite the fact that California mandates that health insurance providers offer mental coverage, people receive no or inadequate assistance.
This is the first comprehensive report on the mental health of California’s population and the results are alarming. For instance, about one in 12 Californians report symptoms of serious psychological distress and also difficulty functioning at home and at work. Over half of these people have not sought treatment of any kind. A quarter of them said they had inadequate treatment.
“There is a huge gap between needing help and getting help,” said David Grant, 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.”
Uninsured adults had the highest need of service. They received no treatment or less than adequate. Single parents had more than double the normal rate of mental health needs. Single adults without children came next, followed by couples with or without kids. US born Latinos in greater need than immigrants by almost twice as much. Lesbian, gay and bisexual. Nearly 20% of this group needed mental health treatment, nearly double the average rate.
Compared to the general population, people with mental health concerns are more likely to also suffer from other health issues. Among them, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma ranked the highest.
Source: UCLA, Medical NewsToday
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