Mental Health Parity and Access to Treatment

Mental Health Parity and Access to Treatment

AFSP supports coverage and services for mental health and substance use disorders that is adequate, uniform, and on par with services for physical health.

Coverage for services improves access to quality and affordable care for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder. These services have the potential to significantly reduce the number of suicides in the United States each year.

Research shows that majority of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness at their time of death. Substance use disorders, particularly when combined with depression, significantly increase suicide risk. Mental illness and substance use disorders are recognizable and they are treatable. Increasing access to mental health and substance use treatment is an important step toward preventing suicide.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was signed into law in 2008, yet equal access to mental health and substance use services remains elusive for many individuals living with these disorders. As states begin to prepare for the implementation of health care reform, AFSP will work to ensure that the benefits offered through state insurance exchanges cover mental illness and substance use disorders on par with physical health disorders.

Click here to see where your state stands as it moves forward in the health reform implementation process.