Raising Women’s Voices

Even Doctors Have Trouble Accessing Mental Health Care for Patients

Posted in Affordability, Health Disparities, Pre-existing conditions, Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on April 15, 2009

Beyond Parity: Primary Care Physicians’ Perspectives On Access to Mental Health Care, an article featured in health policy journal Health Affairs, explores accessing mental health care from a different point of view.  According to Peter Cunningham, a senior fellow at the Center for Studying Health System Change, found that in 2004-2005, more than 60% of primary care physicians were unable to obtain out-patient services for their patients seeking mental health care, a rate that is twice as high as barriers to other health related services.  The report concludes that since the 1990’s, a little over 30% of patients in need of mental health care actually receive it.  Among those providers that reported difficulty in accessing mental health care for patients were pediatricians.  Problems also stemmed from the fact that there are shortages of mental health providers in the community.

Birth Trauma: Stress Disorder Afflicts Moms

Posted in Maternity Care by raisingwomensvoices on August 5, 2008

Amid the debate over how to effectively manage maternal mental-health disorders, a new type of postpartum illness is gaining attention: post-traumatic-stress disorder due to childbirth.

PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans and victims of violent crime, but medical experts say it also can be brought on by a very painful or complicated labor and delivery in which a woman believes she or her baby might die. Symptoms can include anxiety, flashbacks and a numbness to daily life. Even as medical advances have resulted in many more lives saved during high-risk births, extreme medical interventions can leave a mother severely stressed — especially if she feels powerless or mistreated by health providers.PTSD is much less common than postpartum depression, which has become better-understood by the public as celebrities like actress Brooke Shields and former CIA agent Valerie Plame have spoken out about their experiences. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that postpartum depression affects 15% of mothers.

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North Carolina Mental Health Parity Law Takes Effect

Posted in Health Disparities, Insurance companies by raisingwomensvoices on July 21, 2008

North Carolina health care insurers must provide the same amount of coverage for certain mental conditions as they do for physical ailments under a state law that took effect on Tuesday, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. The North Carolina General Assembly last year passed the “mental health parity” measure to require that nine common mental health conditions be covered at levels equal to physical conditions. The conditions are bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoid or psychotic disorders, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

read_more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/113789.php

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