Only Half of Suicidal Americans Seek Treatment
A study published in the latest issue of General Hospital Psychiatry reveals that only half of people with thoughts of suicide sought significant treatment — even those who realized that they had a problem with life-threatening thoughts.
Scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) found that 3.6 percent of those surveyed had thought about suicide within the past year, but only about a quarter of that group consulted a mental health specialist.
Of those who thought they needed help for suicidal thoughts or addiction — 56 percent — only about six in 10 received adequate care as defined by the study. And of all those with suicidal thoughts, only 52 percent got treatment that consisted of more than a simple assessment.
A similar but unrelated survey, funded by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, found that of 3,542 adults in California, Florida, New York, Ohio and Texas depressed individuals who have limited access to free or low-cost care spend almost three times on depression treatment as people who do have less restricted access ($4,312 vs. $1,496, respectively).