The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published this comprehensive report on behavioral health equity in the United States. The report focused on differences based on health insurance and by race and ethnicity. The report is based on data collected from SAMHSA’s 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The NSDUH is an annual survey of 67,500 people aged 12 and older across the nation.
According to the report, adults aged 18 and older without health insurance were significantly more likely to have experienced a serious mental illness in the past year than adults who had health insurance (5.9 percent versus 3.9 percent). Among people experiencing a serious mental illness, adults that were not insured were less likely to receive mental health treatment/counseling in the past year (50.6 percent) than adults that had health insurance (73.5 percent).
Among adolescents aged 12 – 17 experiencing a major depressive episode, 41.6 percent of White adolescents received treatment for depression in the past year prior to being surveyed, while only 36.9 percent of Hispanic or Latino adolescents, and 28.6 percent of Black adolescents received treatment.