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.