â€¢ Briefly describe the availability of and access to mental health care in your community and geographical area.
The Massachusetts population is about 6.7 million people. About 3.71% of adults living with serious mental health like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Public mental health services are provided by the department of mental health. While substance use and addiction treatment are seen by the bureau of substance abuse services. 53.8% of adults with mental illness receive treatment from a private or public provider. While 46.2% have no access to mental health (https:\/\/www.rtor.org\/author\/interact-marketing\/#author, 2019). Senate passed a bill that guarantees Massachusetts residents access to annual mental health wellness checks at no cost. The bill calls for an expanded diverse practitioner workforce, and a rate floor to pay mental health providers the same as primary care providers. The division of insurance will ensure that the insurance companies handle mental health coverage equally. Prior authorization will no longer be needed for inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations. (Chris Lisinski, State House News Service, 2020)
â€¢ How has the Covid-19 Pandemic revealed equity issues in certain communities?
It’s clear that not everyone was impacted by covid-19. Cases in New York were 20 times more in west Virginia. Studies have shown that racial and ethnic minorities may be at increased risk of contracting covid 19, being hospitalized, or dying from the disease. An essential worker who is disproportionally black is at increased risk of covid. In April 2020, Massachusetts began publishing data on confirmed cases and positive cases were associated with lack of insurance, poverty, unemployment, median income, and employment in health care. (Hawkins, 2020).
â€¢ What do you see as the greatest barrier to access and how do you feel this would be best addressed? Be specific in regard to addressing this issue in your â€œcommunity” or geographical area. Do you believe that private or public entities are best suited to address this? How do other countries address these issues?
The greatest barrier to health care is the high cost of health insurance. One of the ways this will be addressed is by allowing dependents to be under their parentâ€™s insurance until 30. Expand the Medicare and Medicaid programs to provide services for incomes of 40,000 or less. Yes, private and public entities would address this issue by lowering their fees. One of the ways the Nigerian government improve access to care was to provide public funds which spring forth a lot of private sectors.
Hawkins D. (2020). Social Determinants of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, United States: An Ecological Study. Journal of preventive medicine and public health = Yebang Uihakhoe chi, 53(4), 220â€“227. https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.20.256
https:\/\/www.rtor.org\/author\/interact-marketing\/#author. (2019, August 16). Mental Health Resources in Massachusetts | Resources to Recover. Resources To Recover. https://www.rtor.org/directory/mental-health-massachusetts/
Chris Lisinski, State House News Service. (2020, February 14). Mass. Senate Passes Bill To Boost Mental Health Care Access. News. https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2020/02/14/mass-senate-passes-bill-to-boost-mental-health-care-access