According to Greg Hansch, executive director of NAMI, two-thirds of Texas counties lack a single psychiatrist for mental health treatment acess.
AUSTIN, TX (KTRK) –The annual study from Mental Health America has been released, and it rates Texas as the poorest state in the US for mental health treatment availability.
People were at a loss for what to do as the pandemic wreaked havoc on many Texans’ mental health treatment.
“Others have become secluded in their houses, detached from people in their communities,” said Texas Counseling Association executive director Jan Friese. “They’re terrified.”
According to Friese, there aren’t enough professionals to help Texans with mental health difficulties. Even before COVID-19, this was the case.
“Texas hasn’t historically been strong in its funding of mental health services, which is, of course, a determinant of access to care,” she continued.
Another cause, according to National Alliance on Mental Illness Executive Director Greg Hansch, is a paucity of staff in the field.
He stated, “We just do not have enough qualified mental health experts to provide care to everyone who needs it.” “There are no psychiatrists in two-thirds of the counties in the state.”
In a recent survey by Mental Health America, Texas was ranked 44th for mental disorders and care in a recent survey, but it was worst for obtaining mental health treatment specialists.
This, according to Hansch, is due to insurance coverage.
“For starters, we have a relatively low insured rate in the state,” Hansch explained. “The number of uninsured people is around twice the national average.”
Another reason is that
“There is a significant problem with mental health stigma in Texas,” he continued. That is why getting medical care is difficult, and it is something they have hoped to improve for a long time.
“It’s a little depressing,” Friese added. “It’s going to be a long path.”
Friese hopes that the annual report will shed light on the issue so that the state can assist with healthcare access.