Over the last 20 years, there has been less and less funding for mental illness.
More than 8 million American adults suffer from serious psychological distress, and they’re less likely to access healthcare services than other people, a U.S. study suggests.
People with serious psychological distress, which includes any mental illness severe enough to require treatment, are three times more likely to be too poor to afford care and 10 times more likely to be unable to pay for medications, the study found.
“Adults with serious psychological distress are more likely to experience delays in healthcare, insufficient money for needed healthcare, change their place of health care, and change their place of healthcare due to insurance,” said lead study author Judith Weissman of New York University Langone Medical Center.
“They are also more likely to have limitations in ability to work, and in activities of daily living compared to adults without serious psychological distress,” Weissman said by email.
For the study, researchers examined survey data on health care use from 2006 to 2014 for a nationwide sample of 207,853 U.S. adults ages 18 to 64. About two-thirds of participants were white and almost one-third had at least a college education.
To assess how many people had serious psychological distress, researchers focused on questions that examined how often participants experienced feelings like exhaustion, hopelessness, nervousness, restlessness, sadness and worthlessness. (more…)