While many therapists, counselors, and other mental health professionals welcomed the recent adoption of mental health parity law in the United States, there were those who suspected that the law’s introduction would become a significant burden for policyholders, tax payers, and others involved in fronting the costs of treatment. This week, however, The Washington Times has published a letter from the head of the group Mental Health America, a letter which argues for the good financial sense of mental health parity and which may help many people gain a better understanding of therapy and other types of modernly available care.
The letter notes that while some critics have suggested that anyone can be arbitrarily diagnosed with a mental health concern, not all issues require treatment, and many can be addressed in a cost-effective manner. Moreover, the letter points to the fact that if left unchecked, some mental health concerns may cost the nation significantly more money over the long-term as associated side-effects demand medical attention and work absenteeism climbs. Treating mental health concerns early and with meaningful care, the letter points out, is often the least expensive option, a notion supported by Congressional Budget Office projections which expected a raise of less than one percent nationally for premiums.
Common misunderstandings about the potential severity of mental health concerns and dire need for psychotherapy and other types of treatment for some clients is bound to experience a decline as the world reacts to a startlingly high rate of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other issues among citizens of every background and age-–even among modern adolescents. The Times’ recent letter may help make mental health parity a more accepted part of this decline.
© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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