A new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Interview Survey shows that mental illness is on the rise, but resources for mental health treatment are on the decline.
The analysis is a result of nearly a decade’s worth of data and found that more than 8.3 million (3.4 percent) of those living in America are battling some kind of mental health issue. The latest findings come in contrast to previous data released by the CDC, which estimated that less than 3 percent of U.S. adults experienced serious psychological distress.
Researchers from NYU’s Langone Medical Center pulled statistics from surveys collected between 2006 and 2014. The report was based on more than 200,000 Americans who ranged in age between 18 and 64.
An unfortunate discovery of the analysis shows that 9.5 percent of people surveyed in 2014 did not have health insurance that included mental health care. Roughly 10.5 percent of people experienced delays in getting treatment due to insufficient coverage regarding mental health. Close to 10 percent of those surveyed in 2014 couldn’t afford to pay for necessary medications related to their mental health.
Judith Weissman is a research manager in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. She said the analysis shows there’s a clear need for more emphasis on mental health in primary care facilities.
“Among people with any type of illness, people with SPD (schizoid personality disorder) are the ones experiencing the most disparities in terms of utilizing health care,” Weissman told The Huffington Post. “It leaves people with SPD just spinning through the system and makes you wonder what’s going on. Why isn’t the health care system addressing people with mental illness?”
Weissman asserts that even if people had access to mental health care, there’s a limited number of mental health providers.
“A lot of people with mental illness don’t have coverage, but even if they do and even if there was the ability to pay for it, the number of providers out there to treat it is limited,” Weissman said. “It’s just a huge disconnect between the number of illnesses that really affect this population and the number of people who are able to treat it.”
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