Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Big Giant "D" for US Mental Health Care



Back in 2006, the National Association of Mental Illness rated the overall mental health care in United States and gave it a big, giant "D". 

It's been three years - and while one would think health care would improve - it sadly hasn't. A new state by state report card from NAMI yielded a disastrous and dreadful "D" again. 

What a terrible state of affairs.

As President Obama and our elected officials address Health Care Reform, the American Psychological Association urges them to include better mental health services.  

Mind and body are interconnected, wouldn't  you agree?



20 comments:

kath said...

Not just mind and body, but spirit as well. Mental healthcare. It's a conundrum. Hard to tell if there is too little or too much.

Happy pills are everywhere ...
So many diagnosis, but how many of them are correct?

My body, mind and spirit are a little weary today :P

Anonymous said...

A big giant "D'oh" seems more appropriate.


::jeremy::

Angel Chasse said...

Sadly, I live in, and am moving to a new city within, South Dakota. They got an F for this. I believe when they brought it up on the local news they blamed it on "the rural setting of much of the state." I wonder why more money/time/effort is not put into healing a whole person.. I hope this changes .. and soon! Thanks for posting this! A very important post!

phd in yogurtry said...

Often connected by the pocketbook.

STAG said...

A potential to be a great money pit. Which would be fine if you can show results.

Fortunately, there are good news stories which corroborate those results, and a developing body of knowledge which shows that the mental health field has a future.

And sadly, there are many cracks into which too many fall.

traci said...

Gah! I wish people would understand. It hurts my heart to read this.

Battle Weary said...

CA got a C...I'm not quite sure how, but whatever. That is about to drop here (in my opinion). Our State Legislature, in it's profound wisdom( insert any amount of sarcasm and sailor talk here) decided that the best way to balance our state budget was to cut medi-cal services (no more dental for the poorest adults), and mental health services. County mental health services where I am is already a joke...I fear wha the cuts are going to do.

Deb S. said...

It's a national disgrace.

Id it is said...

That is surprising! I would have imagined otherwise given that there is so much classification done for 'special needs' so early on in our system.

Ian Lidster said...

At least my neighboring Washington, Oregon and California come in at the mid-range, and your New York is right up there.

In Canada it is absolutely no better and in my field, addictions, British Columbia is arguably the worst in the country.

Dr. Deb said...

Ian,
I had no idea BC was so poor in addiction support tx and recovery.

Wanda's Wings said...

It is very sad for a nation as great as our to be so lacking in mental health care. I am glad I live in one of the better states.

Deb said...

In my opinion, it boils down to people faking mental illnesses to get what they want, so with that, the government and doctors really have to weed out the "bad eggs" - the ones who portray mental illness for whatever reason. The red tape gets longer and the people who do suffer, suffer greatly because of the people who make it that much more difficult.

And like what Kath said, I do believe "in spirit" as well, but it's all about "belief". There are many people who do not believe in mental illnesses because they don't have themselves.

For instance: my sister used to say that there is no such thing as depression and that we "choose" to be depressed, for whatever reason and that we can train our minds to do the opposite, without medication. I believe there are natural remedies that "may" help... but tell that to someone who is suicidal.

I have been with the same doctor for over 5 years, because I cannot find one that accepts my insurance, and most of them in New York want over $150 per session. I cannot afford that. Most people I know, cannot afford sessions that run that much. I even asked for them if they could look at my financial stuff and possibly do the scale, where they lower it for you, but no...most of them never went below the $150 mark. I pay $100 per session with the guy I have now and I go once per month when I should be going every week for my anxiety and depression.

It totally sucks. YET --I go to my primary doctor and pay NOTHING, unless I get tests done.

WTF?

Awake In Rochester said...

NY State gets a "B"? That's surprising to me.

Also I don't think that the public understands basic problems like depression. My relatives have a "suck it up" attitude towards me, and don't seem to understand that I still have problems. In fact I'm kind of surprised that it hasn't gone away. It's been years. You think it would have run it's course.

I've been on Yahoo Answers looking at questions about suicide. Some people don't seem to have a clue about that topic either, yet they respond to suicidal people. Some of the things they say is frightening. Suicide is an interesting topic.

jumpinginpuddles said...

its been well known in the western world america have become a third world country in regards to health, it is terribly sad a country who used to forefront amazing new health care discoveries have lost its way so badly

Marj aka Thriver said...

I often wonder what a different society we would live in if we paid more attention to mental health and the mind-body-spirit connection.

Sad news, but not surprising at all.

Wellness Writer said...

I certainly would agree that mind, body, and spirit are connected. And I must admit I would have been surprised if the mental health rating was higher since I think it's so terrible!

Susan

Gaia said...

Have you seen this? It's a great widget that defines the myths and facts of mental illness in the U.S.

http://www.takepart.com/thesoloist/tips.php

Dr. Deb said...

Gaia,

I love that widget and have been looking so forward to The Soloist. It is a special book. I'm going a post on it and will use the stigma busting video widget. Thanks so much.

Dr. Deb said...

To everyone else,

Thanks so much for your comments.