Study: Many Californians’ Mental Health Needs Are Not Being Met
Nearly two million Californians say they have mental health conditions that require treatment, but most of them do not receive the care they need, according to a report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, United Press International reports (United Press International, 12/1).
The state requires health insurers to equally cover care for mental and physical health conditions through the California Mental Health Parity Act (Kalantari, "State of Health," KQED, 12/1).
For the report, researchers used data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (United Press International, 12/1).
According to the report, about 8% of California adults reported having symptoms that aligned with major psychological distress and that caused difficulty functioning at home or work (Roan, "Booster Shots,"Â Los Angeles Times, 12/1).
The report found disparities in mental health status and treatment among different demographic, economic and social factors. For example, 17% of single adults with children had unmet mental health care needs, while 12% of U.S.-born Hispanics had unmet mental health needs ("State of Health," KQED, 12/1).
The study also found that:
- 87% of uninsured adults had unmet mental health care needs;
- 77% of adults with private insurance had unmet needs; and
- 65% of adults with public insurance had unmet needs (United Press International, 12/1).
The researchers concluded that mental health care should be integrated into general health care.
The researchers added that primary care physiciansÂ should screen patients for mental health problems and provide referrals to mental health specialists ("Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 12/1).
For additional coverage on the mental health study, see Thursday's Capitol Desk post.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.