Report: More Than Half of Mentally Ill U.S. Adults Get NO Treatment

October 19 at 7:00 AM

This article has been re-shared from it’s original source, the Washington Post.

 

Mental Health America just released its annual assessment of Americans with mental illness, the treatment they receive and the resources available to them — and the conclusions are sobering: Twenty percent of adults (43.7 million people) have a mental health condition, and more than half of them do not receive treatment. Among youth, the rates of depression are rising, but 80 percent of children and adolescents get either insufficient treatment or none at all.

“Once again, our report shows that too many Americans are suffering and far too many are not receiving the treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives,” Paul Gionfriddo, president of Mental Health America, said in a statement. “We must improve access to care and treatments, and we need to put a premium on early identification and early intervention for everyone with mental health concerns.”

The national community-based nonprofit ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 15 measures, including adults with any mental illness, youth with at least one major depressive episode in the past year, and the availability of mental-health workers. Even though more Americans are insured, the report found a dire need for adequate treatment, especially in the Deep South.

Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama had the least access to care for the mentally ill and the highest rates of imprisonment, with a total of more than 57,000 incarcerated men and women in those states suffering mental-health conditions.

“This is ultimately about the policy decisions we make,” Gionfriddo said. “It isn’t just about what states are red and what states are blue. … But political environments in states do seem to matter. Those that invest more in mental health clearly have to throw away less money on jails and prisons.”

 

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