Federal Law Could Help Half Million Californians Get Mental Health Treatment
Monday, December 3, 2012
The Affordable Care Act requires mental health care to be part of the core set of benefits that most health plans must offer starting in 2014. A UCLA study says that means a half million uninsured Californians who reported severe distress and difficulty functioning may have new opportunity to get treatment. Imelda Padilla-Frausto is the lead author of the study.
PADILLA-FRAUSTO: "These folks are people who reported feeling nervous, hopeless, worthless, restless, depressed and that everything was an effort for most or all of a 30-day period. So these are people that are suffering."
Padilla-Frausto says more access to care could help reduce the stigma of treatment for mental illness. But she says there are other barriers to care - such as a shortage of mental health professionals in some California counties.