Thursday, March 23, 2006

Grading The States 2006: A Report On America's Healthcare System For Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness in the United States, presents this first comprehensive state-by-state analysis of mental health care systems in 15 years. Every U.S. state has been scored on 39 specific criteria resulting in an overall grade and four sub-category grades for each state. The national average grade is D. Five states receive grades in the B range. Eight receive F's. None received A's.

My state - New York- got a grade of "U"- that's right a "U", signifiying an "unresponsive" status in regard to the questions posed.

Select a state and view its report card and NAMI's analysis here --> Click-Your-State.

Then, be sure to visit the Take Action area to find out how you can get involved and make a difference.

To my readers out of the country, I hope your healthcare is better than ours!

National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)


Dawn said...

wow-that's really surprising to me that so many states received those grades.

i really have no clue what our system is like here,what grade we have, but i do know that mental health professionals that are payed through our provincial health care(ohip) have a 1 to 2 year long waiting list of clients that need them.

Traci said...

I am not one tiny bit surprised that no states got A's. My state got a D and that doesn't surprise me either. Thanks for posting this Deb. How sad...not only for mental health patients but for the whole country. I wish mental illness did not have the stigma attached to it that it does. Peace.

Leah said...

My state got a C...Go figure...Not surprised there are no As but there sure are a lot of Cs....

Kim said...

California ranks FIRST in total spending for mental health but manages to pull a "C". I know firsthand how hard it was to place my patients when I worked psych.

alan said...

Kansas flunks; we can't even get them to fund the school system before they adjourn! Last year the governor had to call them back for that, let alone health care or mental health!



Sunnie Dee said...

When I read things like this I am thankful I live in New Zealand. Although we pay some medical, most of it is covered by the goverment. alot of mental health is covered and if we have an accident we are covered by ACC (they pay our wages while we are off work). NZ is not perfect in any way shape or form, but its a big step up from America when it comes to medical stuff.


cheesemeister said...

My state (colorado) also received a U.
I was 39 years old before I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar II rather than the old Depression/Anxiety and it was somehow my fault that the meds weren't working because they were treating the wrong thing.
I admit that Bipolar II can be sneaky to diagnose. But the point I'm trying to make in a roundabout way is that mental health is still given very low priority in this country. Most insurance plans give you very few visits to take care of mental health concerns. If you have a longstanding or lifelong condition, you are screwed.
Of course, from what I've been reading, bipolar disorder is actually a physiological problem that manifests psychological symptoms. But one should still have access to psychological counsel in order to learn to deal with these symptoms.
Mental health concerns need to be destigmatized and also given the priority they deserve.

Dreaming again said...

Lovely, I'm in a 'D' state.

With two kids with TS/OCD/ADHD ... my own dx's of PSTD/ED-NOS ...I'm not really surprised ... but ..still ... seeing it ...

Fallen Angels said...

California gat a C...I'm floored...would like to see how they determined THAT! Like Kim said, it ranks first in spending...but just try to find some help! In my county, if you are on medi-cal (medicaid) and you are not an adict or acutely psychotic, there are no services for you. I'm lucky that I found a great T while I still had insurance through my employer...she ended up writing off a large portion of my bill when I was between COBRA and medicare. My sis-in-law has not been so lucky. The part that is really sad is that there are plenty of T's in my county that are willing to accept medi-cal contracting and medi-cal clients...but they can't unless they are clinic based and the clinic contracts instead of the individual.


Nancy said...

CA did get a C but got an A for support. What does that mean???

I have a question for you Deb. Can people with SAD or Bipolar get depressed when the days begin to get long and they are stuck at work??? The opposite of the normal being depressed because the days get shorter and there is less sunshine. Instead of being happy for more sunshine and vitamin D, they remain sad cuz they cannot go out and play....

Thanks Deb!

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I was surprised that this survey showed such poor scores all around. The US needs to look at how other countries do things....

Dear Traci,
I am all about kicking butt with getting stigma diluted. Seems like it will be a BIG undertaking. Hope you are doing well these days :)

Dear Leah,
You are lucky to be in a C area!

Dear Kim,
I am so stunned that certain forward thinking states have such poor scores!

Dear Alan,
Blimey, that's awful.

Dear Sonnie Dee,
Other countries can show the US how to do things better....that's for sure.

Dear Cheesmeister,
Another U...Oh. no. Bipolar II is a slippery diagnosis and one that is easily missed. I am glad that you finally found the right DX and the right meds. It can make such a difference.

Dear Dreaming Again,
A "D". Wow. It is upsetting, you are right.

Dear Fallen,
There *are* alot of good therapists out there. I am glad that you have one. It is dismaying to learn that so much in healthcare is lacking, but to discover the mental health piece as being even worse is very upsetting.

Dear Nancy,
I think it is more about not having the down time and the play time and seeing the day go on without refueling. This is the time of year when many people, children and adults, start getting irritable and itchy to get out of work and school.


Pirate said...

How do you get help for a paranoid schizophrenic? The process setup for help is not conducive for those who cannot trust.

dragonflyfilly said...

hi there Deb;
thanks for stopping by. i know, what a joy it was to see these beautiful women (young and old) celebrating themselves! - my friend and i were so energized by the event - i could not wait 5 days to have the photos developed so did the one hour thing! -- AND we have both signed up for the Level 1 class that starts on April 3rd., -- so watch out world!

...anyway, i had a very weird dream last night, but i will put it on my Blog and ask you to come over and have a look at it if you like, but i have to rush off to the bank right now, mundane life intrudes...

ref; your post: yep, this is an area where the numbers of mentally ill people who live on the streets has increased (a huge facility was closed down here about 20 years ago; - now the land is cluttered with condos and such - but patients were discharged without there being an adequate infrastructure set in place - their parent's homes and half-way houses were unsuitable, and rooming houses were also shut down by landlords who wanted to upgrade their buildings for Expo 86 so they had nowhere to go. I estimate that 85% (maybe more) of the people who are homeless here have mental health issues, and have very specific housing needs that society at large do not really understand. Also what a lot of people don't understand is that people with mental health issues get involved with street drugs in an attempt to "normalize" their so-called irrational mental processes. They also get involved with people who deal drugs because sometimes those are the only people who will be-friend them. It is a very sad situation.

more later,

(ops, taking up a lot of space on your blog, sorry, won't do it again)

A Flowered Purse said...

Ooooooooooo KY failed, like that suprises me in any way shape or form. All of its sad.
On the news last night they said the number of child abuse deaths are on the rise and they don't know why the sudden rise.
If they only took the time to step outside their own little world and see, peoples levels of frustration are high. All these bills are going up, no one is making anymore money. Parents aren't taught coping skills. While frustration is no excuse to ever hurt a child, its an explanation as to whats happening.

I hear so many moms in my mommy loop every day. They are tired, stressed, lack of money. They don't have any help. Many have anxiety disorders or are depressed. No one can afford to seek out help. THats like me. No mental health providers accept my insurance.

Something needs to be done and soon. Seeing that report card was of no shock to me.

Thanks Dr. Deb! Happy weekend!!!

staffpsy said...

i was going to get this on mine as well. missouri getting a "C" is scary, but that will change now that Matt Blunt is slashing mental health funding.

Miranda said...

hmmm...I'd like to see the Canadian version of that.

Dreaming again said...

Just to be clear :) my PSTD/ED-NOS has nothing to do with my kids TS/OCD/ADHD ...reading that and your wow ... I realized that it looks worse in the reading than the living. Mine comes from teen years/experiences. My kids is genetic ..managed with medications. My kids are also happy in their skins ..with the oldest proclaiming that he's 'normal in his abnormalities' and a plan to go onto become a doctor, with the grades and ACT/SAT scores to be able to do so.

Cathy said...

I wish we had something like this in Canada!

Carolina Introvert said...

I'm so proud! My state got a B-.

Single Ma said...

WOW that's some shocking but sad news.

My state got a C+. Since the national avg is a D, then I guess that's good. *shrug* One of those "not sure" question-like statements. LOL

Is there not a gov't agency that regulates the quality of health care systems? If so, I assume there's no enforcement. Very sad.

P.S. still working on my dreams ;-)

for_the_lonely said...

It does not surprise me in the least bit that SD received an "F"...and here I go to a doctor's appointment on Monday...yikes! LOL

Have a great weekend!


dragonflyfilly said...

yep, dreaming again, what is normal? *sigh* i'm sure not, neither am i average, and i'm sure glad i'm not. that is the trouble when we live in a society where we are taught to be one dimensional - i don't believe that creative people are necessarily "crazy" or not stable, (but sometimes we do go off the edge for awhile) but ordinary people get scared when they don't understand that, and when we don't fit into their paradigm of what people should be like; creative people cannot live in little, your kid sounds great!
cheers for now,

scrappy rose said...

it's hard for me to believe Maine received a higher score than Massachusetts. Maybe I should move back home. :-)

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Pirate,
You are *is* hard for certain individuals to get the help they need. We need family members and advocates to help support them and to help them get proper treatment and intervention. But the grading system shows us how neglected mental health is in the planning, spending and governing of healthcare.

Dear Dragonflyfilly,
It is sad, you are right.

Dear Dianna,
There are so many things that press on us, your insight into that is right on target.

Dear Staffpsy,
Slashing on already poor mental health care....Blimey!

Dear Miranda,
What is the mental health system like for you in Canada?

Dear Dreaming Again,
Got it. I love hearing that your kids are happy. That's the most important thing, wouldn't you say?

Dear Cathy,
What do you think the grading system would be up there for you?

Dear Carolina,
That's awesome!!!!

Dear Singlemom,
Being above the average in this case is a GREAT thing!

Dear Sarah,
An F in SD, sad. My state got a U. Even sadder. I know you love your T so that's a big plus!

Dear Dragonflyfilly,
I agree with you.

Dear Scrappy Rose, pose a good question.


dragonflyfilly said...

i'm thinking about doing the second year of the Process Work Training: going through my binders...found this: "Therapeia for the Chronically Mentally Ill: The Therapeutic Program at PORTAL. - written by David J. Roomy, pub. Psychological Rehabilitation Journal. Volumn VII, Number 4, April, 1984 it's old news (wait, that's redundant! -- old news), anyway, you might find it interesting, it's a few pages long, too much to print here. But PORTAL: The First Three Years, was (is?) a three year program sponsored by Washington state in 1982, "...innovative among state-sponsored programs in meeting the needs of the chronically mentally ill, addressing some needs that lie between those being met in the state hospitals and those being met in the community..." -- you may already know about it.

cheers for now,

Rue said...

this is a real eye opener for you I am sure! I wonder if there is a similar analysis for Canada ( as Dawn does..."hi")? I understand there are areas in the States where the waitng lists for health care of any kind are just as long as ours but that at the end of them they still have to pay. I'd have to say that it is better to be poor in Canada than in most states ( I am sure not all) as at least they get free health care.
Not that I am bragging...we still have alot of work we need to do.
Seems odd that the ratings are so low in areas where there are very large populations. I mean you hear about so many people on the streets of big cities that are in need of mental health care. You would think that in areas where there is actual visiable evidenc of a need to would be filled. Or maybe that's just too damned logical?!

Miranda said...

You know I dont really know exactly. I know when my ex was in the hospital for attempted suicide, he was not allowed out for 72 hours. When my g/f in Texas attempted, they let her out in less than 24 hours.

I think overall our medical system is much better, if only because there's not such a big insurance issue like down there.

Jackie said...

That is just sad!!!!


dragonflyfilly said...

while the health care for poor people IS better here than in the States, it is still just barely adequate, and one has to wait and wait and wait, and then sometimes all you get is an Rx. for meds. that might not agree with you. Also, our health system is now so overcrowed and underfunded that things are getting bad. And men still get preferential treatment.

30 years ago in downtown Vancouver one would maybe see 2 people begging on the streets, compared to New York where i saw many. Now in Vanc. you see two or three on every block, and even in the suburbs, where you would have never seen people begging. This is a direct result, as i mentioned earlier, of a large mental institution closing down, and not providing adequate provision for the patients there. Add to that the number of young people who are kicked out of their homes for various reasons.

And people with psychotic conditions are difficult to house; there is lack of understanding of their specific needs, as well as lack of concern (people just don't care - that is obvious when you see that we keep voting in politicians who make empty promises)-- you just have to drive around the new housing developements and look at the houses being built for the average joe; HUGE places with up to four bathrooms, and 4 indoor garages for cars, boats, recreational vehicles, etc, to see just how rich this province is!!! - the money is here, the goodwill is not.

over and out on that dreary note,

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Dragonflyfilly,
Didn't know about this paper. I will access it via APA online. Thanks :)

Dear Rue,
I think in a similar way as do you.

Dear Miranda,
I have to also wonder if there is less litigation and malpractice suits that go on in Canada, less fraud, etc. These issues make the practice of healthcare in the US more money oriented and less patient oriented, in my opinion.

Dear Jackie,
I know.

Dear Dragonflyfilly,
There is a direct trend regarding the closing and limiting of mental health and the number of people languishing in private AND public view.


Mom, Interrupted said...

Cali got a "C", still not good enough for me. The report reads that even G.W. will be responding to mental health care reform!

Do you believe?

I hope so!

Marj aka Thriver said...

I'm in Colorado--the other "U." And, unfortunately, I am not surprised. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

jumpinginpuddles said...

interesting clicking each state. Im with sonnie thank goodness we live in aus its obvious we have a good system going on over here :) thanks for the info. Sometimes i think smaller countries can do it better because of less pressure than bigger ones

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Mom Interrupted,
I hope GWB does address this.

Dear Marj,
Another U? Now, that's *so* not good.

Dear JIP,
I think you are right. There is better management in the smaller countries I suspect, and less "cooks in the soup" as we say here in the US. We could learn a lot from you.


Rose said...

My states grades didn't surprise me at all. The crappy Governor made slashing Medicaid his first cut in to office when he took his first step in. Mental Health has barely any services for the poor working or poor people. Misoouri has a D+.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Rose,
It is so heartwrenching to me that those who may need services cannot get them. And that if a person CAN get services, they may not be fully and thoroughly provided for. This country seems rudderless to me. (Did I make up that word?)


elaine said...

Wow, I'm surprised no states scored well. I'n california the people I have worked with in Autism have all been very professional

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Dear Elaine,

I believe that it is not the professionals, per se, but the state funding and outreach services that are lacking. That's why the country scored so low.

So glad you have had good experiences with professionals.


tiptoe said...

I was just about to hunt for this info.

TX is hideous when it comes to mental health care or lack thereof. NY is much better as is California.