MHA study shows Missouri near bottom 10 for mental health | Health News

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The District of Columbia is among the top 10 states for the best mental health, or the combination of the lowest prevalence of mental illness and the greatest access to care, according to Mental Health’s annual State of Mental Health in America report. America.

Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and Maryland round out the top 10.

States at the lower end of the ranking have higher prevalence rates and less access to care. Those states include Kansas, Indiana, Texas, Oregon, Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada. Missouri isn’t far behind at 39th.

“This year, once again, the evidence is clear regarding the urgent crisis we face in American mental health,” said Schroeder Stribling, MHA president and CEO, in a statement.

“From large numbers of our youth contemplating suicide to an increase in substance use to widespread difficulty accessing the care they seek, Americans experience high rates of distress and frequent challenges in getting help,” he said. Stribling.

Stribling promised that Mental Health America has continued to work to address and reverse the numbers, including advocating for policy and practice improvements that reach people where they are, at the right time, with the right help.

“Everyone deserves access to the care they need and the chance to live a flourishing life of recovery,” Stribling said.

MHA found that 55% of the more than 50 million Americans with mental illness did not receive treatment, with access and cost being the main reasons.

Most of those who indicated they couldn’t access needed mental health treatment reported they couldn’t afford care, the MHA researchers found.

This reason was followed by not knowing where to get services, thinking they could manage their mental health without treatment, not having time, or health insurance not paying enough for mental health treatments.

The researchers added that 11 percent of adults with a mental illness are uninsured and 1 in 10 youth with private insurance does not have coverage for mental health treatment.

“Our country has a known shortage of mental health providers (one provider for every 350 people) and barriers such as lack of insurance or insurance that does not sufficiently cover the cost of mental health care compound the lack of access for those who they need help, with clear geographic and racial disparities,” said Maddy Reinert, senior director of population health at MHA.

“We can’t expect mental health to improve in the US if people who need it can’t access the kind of care they want.”

In an effort to garner more support for mental health, DC Council Member Robert White introduced the District’s Pathways to Behavioral Health Degrees Act of 2022, which would allow students to earn a master’s degree in social work for free. at the University of the District of Columbia.

White’s bill, which has eight cosponsors on the 13-member council, would allow eligible applicants with bachelor’s degrees to earn scholarships that cover tuition and books. It also provides students with a monthly stipend to cover living and transportation expenses.

“When the pandemic started, I heard from so many people who felt they needed mental health professionals and couldn’t find them, and we realized we had a referral problem,” White said.

In publishing its annual report, MHA said its goal is to provide a snapshot of mental health among youth and adults for policy and program planning, analysis, and evaluation.

In addition, officials want to track changes in the prevalence of mental health problems and access to mental health care, understand how changes in national data reflect the impact of legislation and policies, and increase dialogue and improve outcomes for individuals and families with mental health needs. .

“Everyone deserves to have access to the care they need and the opportunity to live a flourishing life of recovery,” Stribling insisted.

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