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Death by Lack of Insurance II

Posted Oct 23 2008 1:36pm
In response to a question about the last posting "Death by Lack of Insurance", I should mention another contribution of the lack of insurance.

One large gap in accessing needed care encountered by the uninsured and underinsured is the inability to get mental health care. (I should note that under-insurance, i.e. non-coverage of certain categories of health care or health needs, is considerable for mental health services. Even many individuals that have great medical coverage have little or no coverage for mental health services.)

For many individuals, not unlike problems with lack of access to medical care, lack of access to mental health care can result in death. This effect can be direct from increased risk of suicide death, lack of intervention in self-medication with illicit (or legal) drugs, or lack of treatment for high risk behaviors. The effect can also be indirect from behavior problems not addressed by mental health professional contributing to job loss, ill health and increases in risk taking.

Just as lack of medical care contributes to increased risk of death, so too does lack of access to mental health care.
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