If you are a family member, friend, or co-worker who is suffering from mental health problems, you know the benefits of getting the proper medical treatment. Medications and therapies are available to help treat mental health problems, but many people find it difficult to get them. However, the federal parity law, passed in 2010, mandates that insurers cover mental, behavioral, and substance use disorders. It also requires insurers to cover a minimum of 30 dollars for mental health care visits.
The conventional wisdom is that the mental health system is broken. It suggests that there were once whole systems, but that the system is not. It also represents the longing for the pre-deinstitutionalization system. During that time, the mental health system consisted largely of state hospitals, which confined people with serious mental disorders for indefinite periods of time. It was believed that this was the best way to treat mental illness. But is this belief true?
Despite the recent improvements, the mental health system is still deeply flawed. Even if it’s improved since the time of Dr. Fred Frese, a psychologist who experienced psychotic episodes, there are still many holes to fill. Further, stigma is still one of the biggest impediments to community integration. As a result, we need more investment in evidence-based services and affordable housing.