Who has access to mental health care?

For my second experiment, I prepared a guide for people affected by trauma. This guide included all trauma-informed treatments available, such as Cognitive-processing therapy, Equine-Assisted therapy, EMDR and the Emotional Freedom Technique. These therapeutic approaches are good for different populations affected by trauma, such as veterans, women victim of intimate partner violence and survivors of natural disasters, and they are all backed up by science. In fact, in the last few decades researchers in the mental health field have been increasingly interested in developing and improving trauma-informed treatments.

But are these treatments available to everyone? A lot of the people affected by trauma do not have access to treatments because they are too expensive or they’re not covered by their insurance plan. It is estimated that there are over 26 million people who go untreated in US. This is a big problem in this country, because even though a lot of treatments might be offered, they’re not available to everyone. So much money is spent investigating this and that treatment, but then people do not really have access to mental health services. And usually the population who is most affected by trauma is the one that has limited access to mental health care.

This is a tough question to answer, because there are many reasons why a lot of people still don’t have access to mental health. There’s a stigma problem, an insurance plan problem, a race and a gender issue (and probably even more). As I mentally try to answer my question, another one came up for me. What is the point of making a guide if people don’t have access to treatment? Trying to navigate the social justice world can feel a little bit overwhelming, because there are so many things that seem not to be working well in US – and access to mental health care is just one them. But even though I might not have the solution to this social justice issue – and nobody really does – I want to contribute in my own way.

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