The demand for mental health services is stronger than ever, with nearly six in 10 Americans seeking or wanting to seek mental health services either for themselves or for a loved one. These individuals are skewing younger and are more likely to be of lower income and have a military background. The large majority of Americans (76%) also believe mental health is just as important as physical health.
Despite this strong demand and growing societal awareness of the importance of mental health in the U.S., the overwhelming majority of Americans (74%) do not believe such services are accessible for everyone, and about half (47%) believe options are limited.
These beliefs are driven by several perceived barriers in Americans’ ability to seek mental health treatment, including:
- High Cost and Insufficient Insurance Coverage
- Limited Options and Long Waits
- Lack of Awareness
- Social Stigma
CBHC believes that all Coloradans – and everyone living in our country – deserve full access to behavioral health care at a cost they can afford. We are committed to creating services for all individuals in our state that are close to home, affordable, and meet the needs of all who seek care. However, real barriers do exist.
There is a large disparity in access to mental health care based on level of income and location. Individuals located in rural areas and of lower-income are less likely to say that mental health services are extremely accessible to them.
There must also be a better understanding of the real cost of delivering mental health care and related reimbursement rates, which typically cover only a small portion of care. This is critical to help attract new providers into the field and more must be done to train and retain providers to help ensure people can get help when they need it. Finally, we must ensure standards of care are consistent through continued adoption of evidence-based practices.
Current Research on Access
Last year, the Cohen Veterans Network and the National Council for Behavioral Health released a study on access to care and the current issues that Americans face when looking for treatment. Learn more about the current trends and what can be done to change them.
Stay Up To Date
The National Council for Behavioral Health is a great resource when it comes to understanding the latest trends, reports, and actions regarding access to care. Join their newsletter, Capitol Connector, to receive the latest information and to learn how you can help be a voice for behavioral health needs.
Find a Mental Health Center
If you are experiencing mental health or substance use issues at this time – or any time – there is a mental health center near you that can help.
Colorado’s Safety Net System
To ensure access to all, Colorado has a safety net system of community providers. CBHC believes that the safety net system is crucial to serving the needs for all.