May 1, 2024 - Health

Most Americans say mental health issues get worse treatment than physical ones

Data: West Health-Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals

Three in four adults think the U.S. health care system identifies and treats mental health issues worse than physical health concerns, according to a new Gallup and West Health poll.

Why it matters: Negative perceptions can prevent people from getting care even when it's available.

  • "If people perceive barriers to care, which change as we age, they are less likely to seek treatment and their condition may never be identified or addressed," West Health president Timothy Lash told Axios in an email.

Zoom in: The view is even slightly worse among seniors (82%), who often struggle to get needed mental health care.

  • 70% think society views people with mental health conditions negatively.
  • Affordability of services (52%) and difficulty finding providers (42%) were seen at the top barriers to getting mental health treatment.
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