Lack of Resources Take a Toll on Americans’ Mental Health
Nearly six in 10 Americans are either seeking out or wanting to seek out mental health services either for themselves or for a loved one, but now more than ever, it is difficult for them to find it. There are a number of reasons for this injustice, but the main factors include high costs and insufficient insurance coverage, limited options and long waits, lack of awareness and social stigma.
This occurs in rural areas heavily. Due to the large amount land that is physically in between houses, towns and hospitals, people might not have the ability to travel to these places. Additionally, many people living in rural areas are farm workers and do not always have the insurance coverage that pays for treatment.
Licensed Professional Counselor Melissa Ferrigno said, “In rural areas people might have to drive an hour to the closest therapist. You also might not have a therapist who is trained in what you need, they might just be the closest one around.”
In America, each state has different laws, when it comes to mental health treatment. The differences range from cost, insurance coverage, prescription distribution and refills number of beds for mental health patients in hospitals, and allotted time allowed for mental health patients in emergency rooms. Mental health parity describes the equal treatment of mental health conditions and substance use disorders in insurance plans. Currently in America, each state has the power to create these parity laws, so not all are created equal.
One out of five adults with a mental illness reported that they were not able to receive the treatment they needed. The lack of resources within mental health treatment play a significant role within the overall mental health and well being of American citizens.
Written by: Hope Daluisio
Created by: Emma Rodner-Tims
There are a number of barriers that people face when trying to find resources related to mental health. Some of those barriers include gender, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, geography and income. Resources are not consistently available for a number of reasons. Those reasons include a person’s location and their income. Unfortunately, elements that a person cannot control, such as gender, sexual orientation and race and ethnicity, hinder a person’s access to resources due to society's negative perceptions.