A new study has found that Americans agree mental health care is important, but also say that it’s expensive and usually hard to get.
Researchers from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) surveyed more than 2.000 adults and noticed that almost 90 percent (90%) of them answered that they put mental health on the same level of importance as physical health.
However, one third of these subjects also answered that mental health care is much more inaccessible than physical health, and 40 percent (40%) of them reported that the high cost of mental health care is the only thing preventing them from getting it.
Out of all of the subjects, 47 percent (47%) believed that they had a mental health condition, however only 38 percent (38%) went to get treatment. But most of the patients that went to see a mental health professional said that the experience helped them, 82 percent (82%) of them received psychotherapy and 78 percent (78%) of them received various meds to help with their condition.
What’s more, 86 percent (86%) of the subjects in the survey also knew that mental health issues such as depression can lead to suicide if left untreated, but only 47 percent (47%) knew that high levels of anxiety can do the same thing.
When it came to their history of suicide, 55 percent (55%) of the subjects answered that they had experienced the effects of suicide in some way in the past, 94 percent (94%) of the subjects answered that suicide is perfectly preventable, 93 percent (93%) of the subjects answered that they would try to stop it if someone they were close to considered suicide, and 67 percent (67%) of the subjects answered that they would reach out to someone if they themselves were starting to have suicidal thoughts.
Dr. Mark Pollack, chairman and professor of psychiatry from Rush University Medical Center (Chicago) and president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), gave a statement in a news release saying that “There’s a significant body of research that demonstrates that individuals suffering from anxiety disorders and depression face an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts”.
Professor Pollack went on to add that it is vital for mental health professionals to accurately diagnose depression and anxiety disorders, and reduce their levels, if they are to reduce the risk of suicide. The danger also increases when a patient has both conditions.
The research team noticed that subjects who were 54 or younger were significantly more likely to have gotten treatment for their mental health issue, compared to subjects who were older than 54.
What’s more, young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 were significantly more likely to perceive seeing a mental health professional as a sign of strength, compared to subjects who were older than 34.
And when it comes to gender differences, more women than men felt comfortable reporting that they received treatment for a mental health issue and admitting that they experienced depression or anxiety disorders.
The findings were published earlier this week, on Tuesday (September 1, 2015), by several organizations including Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).
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