Survey: One out of Five Californians Report Need for Mental Health Help
About one in five Californians said they need help with a mental or emotional problem and about one in 25 reported problems associated with serious psychological distress, according to a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research survey released Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times' "Booster Shots" reports.
Of those who perceived a need for help, only about one in three said they have visited a mental health professional for treatment.
The findings are based on data from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey, which involved more than 44,000 adults.
More Survey Results
The survey also found that:
- Many people said they did not seek treatment because they lacked health insurance; and
- Stigma associated with mental health issues posed a barrier to treatment for many individuals.
In addition, researchers linked various demographic factors such as age, race, gender and income level with the likelihood of whether an individual sought mental health services (Roan, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 7/28).
Conditions Might Have Worsened
David Grant, the lead author of the survey, said the findings might underestimate the current need for mental health services in California because the survey was conducted before the recent economic downturn and accompanying rise in unemployment rates (Colliver, "ChronRx," San Francisco Chronicle, 7/28).
The UC-Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities estimates that almost two million Californians lost their health insurance in 2008 and 2009, which could mean that fewer residents are seeking mental health services (Lin, California Watch Blog, 7/29).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.