Severe Psychiatric Disorders Go Untreated

1400 Words6 Pages
On any given day approximately fifty percent of individual’s, or 3.5 million people, with severe psychiatric disorders go untreated. In 2013, many of those became part of the more than forty-one thousand suicides in our country. These individuals may also have been the patients who were told on a daily basis, to wait thirty days to six months to see a psychiatrist. The numbers of diagnosed mental illnesses have rapidly increased in the past thirty years but yet the numbers of mental health providers have not been able to keep up with that drastic increase. While it is unclear if there is correlation with the increased recognition of mental illnesses and the number of diagnosed illnesses, it is clear to the Center for Disease Control and…show more content…
According to US Department of Health and Human Services Heath Resources and Service Administration, out of Iowa’s 99 counties, 89 of them are considered to be Mental Health Professional Shortage Area’s. This is also referred to as HPSAs. HPSA’s as designated when there are more than 30,000 patients per psychiatrist’s ratio and allows for additional government funding. However, like every budget this can only occur when the funding is available. Currently there is no additional funding available for local clinics or new providers, so this designation does not do any more than provide statistics to show us the providers are necessary. In Iowa, as of 2010, there are 235 adult and child psychiatrists working in the state. Sixty percent of these providers work in three counties, Polk, Linn or Johnson, while most other counties do not have a provider within their borders. Unfortunately, Iowa is not the only area with the lack of mental health provider issues. Out of 114 counties in Missouri there are no licensed psychiatrists in 72 of those counties. In addition, the government has designated 104 of those counties and majority of the St. Louis as Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas. Because there is such demand for the remaining psychiatrists in Missouri, most have resorted to not only not accepting Medicaid, but a growing number are refusing all insurances as well. For those families who can still afford to and are willing to pay out of
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