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Lack of mental health insurance risking people

ANI  |  Washington D.C. [USA] 

You may want to get yourself properly insured as a recent study has found that due to insufficient mental coverage and access to a psychiatrist or counselor, more people than ever before are suffering from serious psychological distress (SPD).

The study may also help explain why the U.S. suicide rate is up to 43,000 people each year.

The suggested that nearly one in 10 distressed Americans (9.5 percent) in 2014 did not have that would give them access to a psychiatrist or counselor.

About 10.5 percent in 2014 experienced delays in getting professional help due to insufficient mental coverage and 9.9 percent could not afford to pay for their psychiatric medications in 2014.

According to researchers from New York University's langone medical center, more than 8.3 million of the Americans aged 18 and 64 suffer from SPD -feelings of sadness, worthlessness and restlessness are hazardous enough to impair people's physical well-being.

"Although our analysis do not give concrete reasons why mental services are diminishing, it could be from shortages in professional help, increased cost of care not covered by insurance, the great recession and other reasons worthy of further investigation," said lead study investigator Judith Weissman from NYU Langone.

"Based on our data, we estimate that millions of Americans have a level of emotional functioning that leads to lower quality of life and life expectancy," Weissman added.

"Physicians, especially in primary care, can play a bigger role in screening people and detecting signs of SPD and potential suicide," said senior study investigator Cheryl Pegus.

"Our study supports policies designed to incorporate mental services and screenings into every physician's practice through the use of electronic medical records, and by providing training for all care professionals, as well as the right resources for patients," Pegus added.

The study is published in the journal Psychiatric Services.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 17 2017. 16:51 IST