Health care, in general, is easier to access for those who are financially stable. Mental health services are even harder to access with differing insurance policies, a lack of resources in certain areas, and inaccessible out-of-pocket prices.
With the COVID pandemic and many other stressors increasing this year, mental health has become a larger part of the national conversation. Here’s why we think everyone should have affordable access to mental health care.
Mental Health Care Can Prevent Higher Costs Down the Line
Mental health care is often difficult to access due to cost. Only 43.3% of adults in the U.S. with a mental illness receive treatment. Roughly one-third of people report not being able to find mental health care that will accept their insurance. And, without insurance, mental health care is often out of reach.
When individuals living with mental illness cannot access the care they need, there is a risk of needing high-cost hospitalization. Studies show that preventative care costs the healthcare system less in the long run and reduces patients’ risk. Getting people access to preventative health care when or before they need it is good for both individuals and the community.
More Equitable Health Care Makes Our Communities Better
Countries with universal health care typically have healthier citizens. When community members are healthy, there is a higher likelihood that jobs will be done better, people will be happier, and communities will thrive.
Investing in the mental health of our community has benefits. It helps people contribute to their communities, avoid poverty, and live well. Easy to access mental health care can help people feel more secure in their lives. They know if something happens that causes their mental health to worsen, they will be able to get help.
Mental Health and Wellness Are Human Rights
Everyone deserves to have good mental health. Unfortunately, our system makes it harder for low-income individuals to receive the proper care. Being healthy all too often has a paywall, which doesn’t give people an equal chance at living a healthy life.
By making mental health care unaffordable, our society is saying that only those who have enough money deserve to have good mental health. As a result of this, some people believe that individuals who can’t afford health care shouldn’t get it. And, that’s simply not true.
This ideology wrongly assumes that all individuals have equal opportunities to get jobs that allow them access to health care. In reality, many individuals struggle to keep jobs, which can cause them to lose health insurance. This often takes a toll on an individual’s mental health, which makes it harder to find or keep a new job, creating a devastating cycle.
We Believe in Mental Health Care Equity
At Guild, we believe that all people should have access to mental health care, regardless of other factors in one’s life. We believe everyone deserves to have strong mental well-being. That’s why we work to ensure everyone has safety, shelter, and stability.
Do you need mental health treatment but aren’t sure where to start? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in supporting our work? Consider making a donation to support our lifesaving services!
Mental Health By the Numbers, National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The Doctor is Out, National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Social Determinants of Health, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Universal Health Care in Different Countries, The Balance.
Why Preventative Care Lowers Health Care Costs, The Balance.
The Impact of Personalized Preventative Care on Health Care Quality, Utilization, and Expenditures, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The Business Case for Ending Homelessness, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Universal Health Coverage for Mental Health, World Health Organization.
Universal Health Coverage, World Health Organization.