Survey on Mental Health Care: Californian Attitudes and Awareness

A CHCF-sponsored Field Poll finds that most Californians think mental health treatment can improve lives, yet 3 in 10 don't know if their health plans cover such care.

September 2014

While more than 8 in 10 Californians believe that treating people with a mental illness helps them lead healthy and productive lives, fewer than 4 in 10 understand that most health insurance plans are legally required to provide mental health and alcohol and drug abuse treatment benefits comparable to coverage for other medical services.

In addition, 3 in 10 insured Californians say they don't know whether their own health plan covers treatments for conditions like depression or anxiety or for alcohol or drug abuse, and 1 in 10 believe they are not covered.

However, a lack of knowledge about insurance coverage isn't the only reason for not seeking mental health or substance abuse treatment. About 1 in 5 Californians report that they would not be likely to seek help for such problems, even if it were covered by insurance and created no financial burden for them.

These are some of the findings from a special statewide Field Poll conducted on behalf of the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) in June among a random sample of 2,013 California adults in six languages and dialects.

See the complete poll results on The Field Poll website through the External Link below.