Most Calif. Children With Mental Illnesses Do Not Receive Treatment
While hundreds of thousands of California children have mental health needs, about 70% never receive treatment, according to a policy brief released Thursday by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports (Florido, "KPCC News," KPCC, 7/24).
The brief was based on data from the 2007 and 2009 California Health Interview Survey.
Researchers found that about 300,000 children in California who are between the ages of four and 11 have mental health needs.
Of such children, 95% reportedly had health insurance and 96% had a usual source of health care, but about 70.8% still went without treatment.
In addition, the researchers found that:
- 14% of children with asthma had mental health needs, compared with 8% of children without asthma;
- 12.7% of children in single-parent households had mental health needs, compared with 7.4% of children in two-parent households; and
- 11% of male children had mental health needs, compared with 6% of female children (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research brief, July 2014).
Imelda Padilla-Frausto, lead author of the brief, said, "The fact that they aren't getting mental health treatment suggests there are other barriers besides health insurance." She said some of those barriers could include:
- Issues navigating the health care system;
- Language difficulties; and
- Stigmas associated with receiving mental health treatment (Florido, "KPCC News," KPCC, 7/24).