Lack of access replaces stigma as primary barrier to mental health treatment, new study finds

An inaugural report by the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) titled “America’s Mental Health 2018” found that individuals are struggling to find and access mental healthcare, though the demand for it is greater than ever before.

The survey of 5,000 U.S. adults also found:

  • Nearly 6 in 10 of the surveyed adults indicated they were seeking mental health treatment for themselves or a loved one
  • 42 percent reported cost and poor insurance coverage as barriers to accessing care. One-quarter of respondents indicated they had to choose between getting mental health treatment and paying for day-to-day necessities
  • 38 percent of respondents had to wait more than one week to receive mental health treatment, while nearly half had to (or knew someone who had to) drive more than an hour roundtrip to access treatment

While access continues to be an obstacle for many pursuing mental health treatment, the National Council for Behavioral Health indicated it will continue to advocate for the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act in 2019, which would extend the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) program to provide crisis and behavioral health services to those in need.


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