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What is the State of America’s Mental Health?

America is experiencing a mental health crisis.

Elevated suicide rates, increased reports of death from stimulants and news outlets spotlighting mass violence remind us that it’s not enough to just talk about the problems; we need to talk about the solutions.

Comprehensive mental health care is needed in this country more than ever. Sadly, because of challenges many people with mental health issues face daily, access to affordable, sustainable, comprehensive and responsive care services is not guaranteed.
Simply put, unrestricted access is hard to come by.

We’ve read the headlines, we’ve seen the stats and now we’re starting to unearth solutions. The National Council and Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) are partnering to shed light on what we can do to remove barriers to mental health care and advocate for community solutions that will bring lasting change.

 

The Report

In the summer of 2018, CVN and the National Council partnered to produce the America’s Mental Health 2018, a survey involving 5,000 American adults with a secondary analysis of state mental health resources that measured attitudes and access to mental health care in America. Now, we are using the report’s findings to encourage change that will remove common, identified barriers to care.

The survey found that while 76 percent of Americans consider mental health as important as physical health, five key barriers often prevent people from getting the care that they so desperately need:

  • Cost – One in four Americans have had to choose between getting mental health treatment and paying for daily necessities.
  • Distance – Nearly half (46 percent) of American adults have had to, or know someone who has had to, travel more than one hour roundtrip to get to their most recent mental health care appointment.
  • Knowledge Gaps – 46 percent of those who have never sought treatment would not know where to go if they needed to seek mental health services for themselves or a family member/friend.
  • Wait Times – 96 million American adults (38 percent) have had to wait longer than one week for mental health services.
  • Stigma – 52 percent have tried to “grin and bear it” instead of seeing a doctor when feeling depressed or mentally unstable.

 

The Solutions

How can we begin to remove barriers to care? The National Council, in partnership with CVN, is developing resources to help you get on the path to removing these barriers in your community through solutions like advocacy for the expansion of Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs) and the mental health workforce, philanthropy-funded care models and more! Through the campaign, we aim to:

  • Raise awareness of mental health access gaps and potential solutions
  • Promote new models for delivering community care
  • Advocate for the sustainability of the mental health workforce

Want to get involved? Join our mailing list to stay in the know on the latest policy updates. For even more resources, look below! Don’t forget to check back often. We’ll be adding new resources throughout this campaign.

 

Resources

Events

  • Join us for Hill Day and advocate for practical policy solutions that provide access to mental and behavioral health treatment!

America’s Mental Health Campaign in the Media