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Why Do So Many Adults with Mental Illnesses Go Without Treatment?

The last time the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducted a survey on mental health and treatment options, it was found that 20 percent of Americans live with some form of mental health disorder.  Unfortunately though, only 39 percent of them received the help and treatment that they need.  Why is it that so many adults go without the treatment they are in need of? Can it be due to costs?

Why do so many Americans go without the treatment they need for mental health illnesses?

It’s important to note that the survey conducted by SAMHSA did not take into account people who suffered from mental illnesses related to drug and alcohol abuse.  Considering that millions of people suffer from these disorders, it’s safe to assume that the findings of the survey would have been far more startling had these people been included.  In fact, it has been found that 20 percent of the people surveyed did in fact suffer from alcohol and/or substance abuse in addition to one or more mental health conditions.

Of those who were surveyed, nearly 30 percent of them were between the ages of 18 to 25.  22 percent were 26 to 49, while 14 percent were above 50 years of age.

It is a well-known fact that states have been attempting, and have been successful, to reduce hospital beds.  When there’s no room to treat people with mental health illnesses, they are often pushed away without the medications and services they need to live a normal life.  Sadly, most of this stems back to budget cuts.  While many hospitals believe that reducing healthcare budgets is the best way to enhance overall services, what they fail to realize is, when healthcare budgets are increased, so is the quality of services that can be used to treat those suffering from life-debilitating mental health disorders.  If we can treat these people, we can actually reduce the likelihood that they will return to the hospital for future uncovered emergency room expenses.

In addition to a lack of services, the associated costs of acquiring treatment is a major factor for people who choose not to receive the help.  People who don’t have insurance or resources, see no solution for dealing with their mental health disorders.  They clearly understand that going to a psychiatrist or psychologist for help and paying out-of-pocket for medications is expensive.  If only they had the resources, they could surely receive the help that they need to better cope with the illnesses.

Another reason that people don’t get help for mental illness is because they are in denial.  If they receive treatment for a disorder, then the disorder becomes real to them, and many are ashamed that they suffer from a mental health illness.  America needs to get to a point where it teaches that mental health concerns are nothing to be ashamed of.  They are real diseases — just like cancer and MS — and they require treatment.

Also, being that mental health illnesses affect the brain, people feel that there is nothing that can help them. Some of them fall victim to the belief that “it’s all in their head” and that they can get better on their own.  Furthermore, if a person does receive treatment for a mental health disorder, they have to face the “dark” side and they feel society will judge them.  This is why it’s so important to spread education about mental health and make it known that millions of people suffer from these diseases.  They are not alone, even if they feel that way.

There are also many people who cannot recognize that they suffer from mental illness.  It’s not so much that they are in denial, but that they truly believe they don’t have a mental health disease.  This is mostly seen in people who have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

The bottom line is that quality services are expensive, which are paramount for people with mental health issues.  A program showing a person how to live with bipolar disorder could provide them with the tools and resources they need to effectively live with this illness. There are premier private pay programs like us, who provide quality treatment and simply cannot take state-funded insurance. To maintain the highest quality of care, all of Pasadena Villa’s programs are primarily private payment. It is also important to note that many private insurance companies do not cover long term treatment in residential mental health programs. However, we will work with you and your insurance company on your behalf to access any possible insurance reimbursement for our exceptional services.

Our admissions team will coordinate the verification of your benefits to see if you have mental health coverage available and if our services will be covered under your specific policy. Once it is determined that your policy will cover our services, we will coordinate the pre-certification of your benefits as well as ongoing concurrent reviews for continued coverage during the course of treatment. Our Utilization Management and Compliance Coordinator will work diligently with our clinical team to ensure all medical records clearly demonstrate medical necessity, which will significantly increase the likelihood of any insurance coverage.

Treatment and help are available

People who under 70-years-old are more likely to lose more years of high-quality life due to mental health issues than any other disorder.  One of the primary reasons behind this scary truth is that mental health disorders do not go hand in hand with getting older.  Whether a person is 7-years-old or 57, leaving a mental health concern untreated will more than likely disrupt his or her life in numerous ways, including their ability to find jobs, raise a family and make logical decisions.

Fortunately though, mental health treatment is available, in many forms.  For starters, specific programs are available for just about any type of mental health illness.  By completing a program, a person has increased odds at achieving a higher quality of life.  It is up to society as a whole to make the services more well known.  From medication management, to life-skills training, mental health illnesses can be appropriately treated.

Intervention and treatment go hand in hand with one another

For those who are suffering from a mental health illness but do not recognize the signs, it is imperative that they receive annual checkups so that qualified physicians can pinpoint the symptoms and give an appropriate diagnosis.  This means that doctors need to be more in tuned with the symptoms.

It also lies within the hands of family members and loved ones to take appropriate intervention action to ensure people get the treatment they need.  When those suffering from mental health concerns are made aware of how largely the disorders are affecting their quality of life, it makes is easier for them to accept that treatment can be of help to them.

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 877-845-5235 for more information.

If you think that you or a loved one may be struggling with a mental health disorder, Pasadena Villa can help. We are here to answer questions and connect to care. Pasadena Villa currently offers treatment at two residential locations in both Orlando, Florida and Knoxville, Tennessee, and outpatient services in Cary, North Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about our program, call us at
1.877.845.5235
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