Research Highlights: Are People with Mental Illness Getting the Help They Need? New Findings About Parity Laws, Insurance Coverage, and Access to Care
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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Mental health made headlines throughout the 1990s. The U.S. Congress declared those years the Decade of the Brain, prompting research that has led to a better understanding of how the brain works as well as improved drug treatments and therapies for mental illness. The decade closed with the 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health and the Surgeon Generals first-ever Report on Mental Health in America. Clearly, mental health issues are becoming important to policymakers, but a major stumbling block in policy debates has been the lack of reliable data about the rapidly changing health care system and how it affects those with mental health problems. Health Care for Communities HCC is a new fact-gathering tool designed to fill this information gap and provide the data needed for informed debates, specifically about mental health issues. It is part of the innovative Health Tracking Initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The main component of HCC is a national household survey that will be repeated at two-year intervals to track changes over time.