Experts in states with higher-than-average mental health problems aren’t surprised by the data. But they speculated that decreased stigma has led to the incorrect appearance of a burgeoning crisis. More patients are being diagnosed than ever before, whereas numbers actually have remained relatively static, they said.
“We have been seeing high incidence for a long time,” said Vivian Weisman, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island. “And there has been a lot of effort to have mental illness seen for the chronic illness it is.”
Diagnoses might very well be on the rise, but federal officials warn that treatment is not: Only 37.9 percent of those adults who suffered from a mental health problem received any care.