Barriers to Pursuing Mental Health Care

The following data was collected by SAMHSA between 2008 and 2012 from adults in the United States who had unmet needs for mental health care services in the previous year. Unmet need was defined as feeling the need for services, but not using them or receiving inadequate care. Respondents could indicate more than one reason as a barrier to pursuit of care, illustrating that barriers are not mutually exclusive.

Cost/Insurance

Could not afford cost, or experienced little or no health insurance coverage.

Low Perceived Need

Could not afford cost, or experienced little or no health insurance coverage.

Low Perceived Need

Did not feel the need for services or felt that they could handle the problem without treatment.

Prejudice/Discrimination

Felt mental health service use might result in negative effects on relationships and employment.

Structural Barriers

Inadequate transportation, inconvenience, did not know where or how to access services.

Concerns Over Effectiveness

Did not think services would help.


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