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Americans Express Bipartisan Support for Solutions to Increase Access to Mental Health Care

  • May 22, 2022

New Orleans, La., May 22, 2022 — In the 2022 Healthy Minds poll released today by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Americans, whether Democrats, Republicans, or Independents, agree on three APA-backed approaches to improving timely access to mental health care and treatment. Specifically, 75% of Americans supported making it easier to see a mental health professional via telehealth (video or phone), 76% supported making it easier to receive mental health care at their primary care office, and 75% supported funding mental health care professionals to work in rural or urban communities that are traditionally underserved.

At the same time, American adults with insurance said it was easier to get general health care than mental health care, according to the online poll conducted by Morning Consult between April 23 and 24, 2022, among a sample of 2,210 adults. The data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, age, race, educational attainment and region. Results from the full study have a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.

“We’re in a moment when mental health is a big part of the national conversation, and clearly political party doesn’t matter as much on this issue,” said APA President Vivian Pender, M.D. “It’s a rare thing in Washington these days to see such a resounding endorsement, but there is strong support for these practical workable solutions that mean more access to mental health care.”

“What you see in this poll is agreement: it’s hard to access mental health but we do have great solutions that could work across party lines,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “Many policymakers, in the administration and in Congress, are already putting these ideas into action, and they should feel encouraged that the public wants to see Congress act on them.”

Adults with insurance are almost twice as likely to say that it has been easier for them to get coverage for general medical care (72%) than mental health care (43%). Some of that difference is attributable to those who said they didn’t know or had no opinion on accessing coverage for mental health. Only two in five Americans (40%) said they thought policymakers in Washington, D.C. considered mental health to be a priority. This is down from 50% in 2021 and 45% in 2020.

For a copy of the poll results, contact [email protected].

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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