July 17, 2013: Two-thirds of adolescents in California with mental health issues aren't receiving treatment, reports Anna Gorman in today's Los Angeles Times. The stats are based on new research from the California HealthCare Foundation. According to the report, "Mental Health Care in California: Painting a Picture," one in 13 children in the state suffers from a mental illness that "limits participation in daily activities."
The research also shows the prevalence of serious mental illness varies by income, with much high rates of mental illness at lower income levels; there are significant racial and ethnic disparities....with Native American, multiracial, and African-American populations experiencing the highest rates of mental illness.
Gorman's LA Times piece claims "...there are also wide disparities across the state, with the poorest regions of the state having the highest rates of mental illness and the lowest number of licensed mental health professions. The Affordable Care Act, however, is expected to improve access for many. The law expands who is eligible for Medi-Cal, the coverage program for poor and disabled residents, enabling them to get comprehensive mental health services, and California residents purchasing insurance through the healthcare marketplace will also have access to mental health care." ...
The California HealthCare Foundation is a 17-year-old philanthropy headquartered in Oakland that gives around $40 million in grants yearly from an endowment of $700 million; the president and CEO is Mark Smith, M.D. (above).