California a Bit Crazy, Survey Finds

Categories: Health
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Survey says...
A massive, years-in-the making survey this week released by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research reveals what many out-of-staters have snidely pontificated for years: We're having mental problems here.

One out of every five adults in the Golden State -- nearly 5 million people -- acknowledge the need for help coping with a mental or emotional problem, according to the California Heath Interview Survey. Yet only one-third of those folks reported actually visiting a mental health professional.

The UCLA report released this week is based on numbers gleaned by the 2005 survey of 44,000 state residents. Its purpose, in a nutshell, is to cast doubt upon the wisdom of a broke state -- that'd be our state -- cutting resources to mental health as a cost-saving measure. Some of the breakout data:

  • Women are more in touch with their feelings than men (surprise, surprise, surprise). The fairer sex is 1.5 times more likely to admit a need for mental health assistance: 22.7 percent to 14.3 percent for men.

  • Money can't buy you happiness -- but it can buy you sanity. The percentage of the population afflicted by both serious psychological illnesses and the perceived need for treatment drops off steadily when measured in wealthier and wealthier increments.

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Proof positive: It's better to be rich and famous than poor and unknown


  • When educational and wealth factors were removed, the reported statistics of mental health maladies among racial groups were fairly negligible.

  • That being said, stark differences exist among racial groups when it comes to admitting need for mental help and obtaining it. Only 3 percent of Latino and Asian immigrants reported visits to a mental health professional; the total of all racial and ethnic groups hovered between 7 and 11 percent. Statistics reported by this survey suggest that "men, older adults, and Latino and Asian immigrants are less likely to receive mental health treatment."

  • Guess what? If you don't have health insurance, you're far less likely to seek mental help (37 percent to 19 percent among respondents with perceived needs; 37 percent to 24 percent among those suffering from "serious psychological distress").

H/T   |   Los Angeles Times


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