Making Mental Health Care More Accessible
It’s no secret that mental health care in the United States is in dire need of reform. In any given year, one in five adults in the U.S. experiences a mental illness, and yet only 43% of those adults receive treatment. There are a number of reasons for this treatment gap, but one of the most significant barriers is lack of access to care. Here are three ways we can make mental health care more accessible.
1. Increase funding for community mental health centers.
Community mental health centers are one of the most effective ways to provide mental health services to underserved populations. These centers are typically located in areas with high concentrations of poverty and/or minority groups, and they offer a variety of services including psychiatric evaluations, therapy, case management, and medication management. Unfortunately, funding for community mental health centers has been on the decline in recent years, which has led to reductions in staff and services. If we want to make mental health care more accessible, we need to increase funding for these vital organizations.
2. Expand Medicaid coverage for mental health services.
Medicaid is a government-funded program that provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families. In most states, Medicaid coverage for mental health services is extremely limited, which means that many people who need care are unable to get it. Expanding Medicaid coverage would go a long way towards making mental health care more accessible for those who need it most.
3. Make sure all insurance plans cover mental health services.
Currently, there are a number of insurance plans that do not cover any mental health services at all. This leaves people who have these plans with two options: pay out of pocket for care or go without treatment altogether. No one should have to choose between getting the care they need and being able to afford their other basic needs like food and shelter. All insurance plans should be required to covermental health services so that everyone has access to the care they need regardless of their financial situation.
Mental illness is a serious problem in the United States, and yet too many people go without treatment because they can’t access the care they need. We can start to fix this problem by increasing funding for community mental health centers, expanding Medicaid coverage for mental health services, and making sure all insurance plans cover mental health services. By taking these steps, we can make sure that everyone has access to the quality mental healthcare they deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can we improve mental health care more accessible?
- Limit the number of mental hospitals.
- Build community mental health services.
- Develop mental health services in general hospitals.
- Integrate mental health services into primary health care.
- Build informal community mental health services.
- Promote self-care.
How can we promote mental health care?
- Track gratitude and achievement with a journal.
- Start your day with a cup of coffee.
- Set up a getaway.
- 4, Work your strengths.
- Keep it cool for a good night’s sleep.
- Experiment with a new recipe, write a poem, paint or try a Pinterest project.
- Show some love to someone in your life.
What are 4 strategies to enhance mental health?
- Make social connection — especially face-to-face — a priority.
- Stay active.
- Talk to someone.
- Appeal to your senses.
- Take up a relaxation practice.
- Make leisure and contemplation a priority.
- Eat a brain-healthy diet to support strong mental health.
- Don’t skimp on sleep.
What are 5 strategies for improving an individual’s mental health?
- Connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing.
- Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness.
- Learn new skills.
- Give to others.
- Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)