MENTAL HEALTH: Californians Support Equal Treatment
Ninety percent of Californians say that health insurance plans should cover mental illness on an equal level with physical illness, a new survey shows. Conducted by the Field Institute for the California Center for Health Improvement (CCHI) and funded by the California Wellness Foundation, the study shows that "the public is concerned about mental illness," says Karen Bodenhorn, CCHI president and CEO. "There has been a perception that a wall exists between the public's attitudes about mental illness compared to other health conditions. Our findings tell a different story," said Bodenhorn. The survey also found that 77% of Californians would be willing to pay higher taxes in exchange for better mental health services in their community. Further, the survey found a high level of concern about mental health issues among children and teens: 65% are "worried" about depression, suicide, and other mental ailments. And 84% of low-income parents expressed concern about their children's mental health. When parents have difficulties with their children, almost 50% seek help from a doctor, nurse or other medical professional, 26% go to a counselor or mental health professional and 16% use self-help support groups. Low-income parents report more difficulty in obtaining mental health services than do their more affluent counterparts, according to the survey (CCHI release, 6/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.