Mental Health Policy

Can access to mental health services be improved?


An estimated 58 million American adults, or one in four, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. Eleven million live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression. Yet it can take years for some individuals to see a mental health professional. Some don't want help, but the majority say treatment is often unaffordable. Others don't know where to go for treatment or say that insurance coverage isn't adequate. The contentious debate over gun control since the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has been accompanied by a less polarizing discussion about improving access to mental health care. Still, some proposals have split mental health advocates, including encouraging states to make court-ordered outpatient treatment easier to obtain. In addition, critics ...

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