This is another important factor that determines why people are less likely to seek mental health treatment. The high costs of treatment, coupled with lack of insurance, exacerbate the emotional burden that mental health patients bear. According to a report, around $81 billion is spent on mental illness in the United States alone. This includes direct costs such as medications, and indirect costs, such as lost wages. Furthermore, there are many restrictions in health insurance coverage which leads to individuals paying for their treatment.
When the costs of their treatment exceed the limit, they are faced with financial losses. If the managed care lessens the cost, the patients have the tendency to be “undertreated. ” Posing restrictions may further worsen the case, as patients may be denied of health services entirely or may be undertreated (Council on Medical Service, 2001). In addition, among all of the adults who have mental health problems, only half of them receive treatment. This was due to Medicare’s cost barriers. The good news is that this problem has already been addressed.
Now, many people can join the Medicare telehealth program because the Community Mental Health Centers became qualified to join (PR Newswire, 2008). Initiatives were considered to solve these problems. Mental health care should not be denied to people who have or at risk of mental illness. Studies showed that people, particularly those who belong to ethnic or racial groups, do not access mental health treatment due to language barriers and cultural divide. Their inability to speak English, and the stigma associated with having mental illness are issues that persist even until today.
Furthermore, many people lack insurance, which is very important for treatment. The lack of insurance can keep them from seeking help, and it poses financial burden on them. Moreover, the expensive cost of mental health treatment is a burden for them. To address these problems, the government must offer programs which seek to improve the delivery of health care to the patients. In the case of language barriers and cultural divide, there must be health care providers who can understand and speak languages and are cultural sensitive so that those who are seeking help do not feel discriminated or stigmatized because of their culture.
The government must also introduce programs which aim to help those who do not have resources for their treatment. References Council on Medical Service. (2001). Access to mental health services. Retrieved January 22, 2009, from www. ama-assn. org/ama/upload/mm/372/cms9. doc Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (2007). Kaiser health disparities report: A weekly look at race, ethnicity, and health. Retrieved January 23, 2009, from http://www. kaisernetwork. org/daily_reports/rep_index. cfm? hint=5&DR_ID=47287 Lehmann C.
(2002). Cultural consultation service bridges mental health divide. Psychiatric News, 37(3), 7. Mechanic, D. (1990). Treating mental illness: Generalist versus specialist. Retrieved January 23, 2009, from http://content. healthaffairs. org/cgi/reprint/9/4/61. pdf Medical News Today. (2006). Many immigrants have problems with access to mental health care. Retrieved January 23, 2009, from http://www. medicalnewstoday. com/articles/58151. php Peck, P. (2005). CNN: Latina breaks down cultural barriers to mental health services.
New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services. Retrieved January 23, 2009, from http://www. nyaprs. org/Pages/View_ENews. cfm? ENewsID=4480 PR Newswire. (2008). New Medicare law removes barriers to mental health treatment. Retrieved January 23, 2009, from http://www. foxbusiness. com/story/new-medicare-law-removes-barriers-mental-health-treatment/ Sentell, T. , Shumway, M. , & Snowden, L. (2007). Acess to mental health treatment by English language proficiency and race/ ethnicity. J Gen Intern Med. 2, 289-293. doi: 10. 1007/s11606-007-0345-7