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Federal Law Could Help Half Million Californians Get Mental Health Treatment

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, December 3, 2012


The Affordable Care Act requires mental health care to be part of the core set of benefits that most health plans must offer starting in 2014. A UCLA study says that means a half million uninsured Californians who reported severe distress and difficulty functioning may have new opportunity to get treatment. Imelda Padilla-Frausto is the lead author of the study.


PADILLA-FRAUSTO: "These folks are people who reported feeling nervous, hopeless, worthless, restless, depressed and that everything was an effort for most or all of a 30-day period. So these are people that are suffering."


Padilla-Frausto says more  access to care could help reduce the stigma of treatment for mental illness. But she says there are other barriers to care - such as a shortage of mental health professionals in some California counties.

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