Inaccessibility to Mental Healthcare
In the years following the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis of poor mental health has skyrocketed for individuals all across the globe, with an observed 103% increase from 2019 to 2022 in individuals seeking out online mental health services according to the Mental Health Association. Unfortunately, many are unable to obtain sufficient access to mental health care, meaning that numerous individuals are not receiving the help they need in times of struggle due to a myriad of factors.
According to the National Council for Wellbeing, 95.6% of individuals have faced at least one barrier when it comes to seeking mental health care. The most prominent barrier is the lack of affordability, especially amongst those of the younger demographic and of low-income demographics. Insurance often does not fully cover therapy fees due to the myriad of reasons. This ultimately makes business unsustainable for a therapist; as a result, therapists opt out of taking insurance and prices must stay the way they are, even if people are less inclined to seek out necessary help because of it.
Additionally, numerous social stigmas surround the effectiveness of therapy and the overall detriment of poor mental health, resulting in people believing therapy is ineffective or they believe their mental health is not a priority. This further contributes to people’s unwillingness to seek help for their psychological distress, as they would have to pay hundreds of dollars for an ‘unimportant’ problem, and a solution is not guaranteed. For the individuals that are able to afford these services, psychological facilities often lack the resources to offer quick and efficient services.
With the surge in patients in need of mental health care after the pandemic, numerous services are unable to offer quick and efficient care to everyone who requests it. As a result of this issue, the number of those with mental health disorders has steadily increased. Dr. Daniel Whitney, a professional in psychiatry, states, “Untreated mental health disorders can have a debilitating impact on children’s healthful growth and throughout their transition to adulthood [...] This could lead to increased, preventable risk for these and other health conditions becoming worse later in life.”
The inaccessibility to mental healthcare will continue to be a hindrance to the progression of society as a whole that must be addressed as soon as possible. Learning more about this issue to increase awareness is just the essential first step to alleviating this ongoing crisis.
Author: Ellen Zulkarnain
Ellen Zulkarnain is an 18-year-old student at Irvington High School, who is super passionate about mental health and helping others. She has volunteered at a local kitten shelter and tutored children with special needs. She excitedly wishes to expand her service to the mental health industry by contributing to this blog. In her spare time, she loves putting together puzzles, playing with her dog, Mars, and spending time with her friends. We hope you enjoy her contributions.