Survey: Arizona among worst states for mental health care availability

Feb 23, 2015, 5:33 PM | Updated: 5:34 pm

PHOENIX — Arizona is the one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to the availability of mental health care, a survey said.

Mental Health America ranked Arizona 46th when it comes to mental health care access. CEO Paul Gionfriddo said Arizona takes a lackluster approach to the issue.

“They traditionally wait until there’s a crisis, where people are a danger to themselves or others (before getting them help),” he said.

Gionfriddo said Arizona needs to do a better job of treating mental health issues, especially in children.

“Mental health concerns, for the most part, are diseases of childhood,” he said. “Fifty percent of them emerge by the age of 14, but we frequently lose about 10 years of time from the time kids show symptoms until the time we diagnose illnesses.”

A consultant with Mental Health America’s Arizona office said the survey does not reflect what is going on in Arizona because it is based on September 2014 statistics. Eddie Sissons said, if the survey were to be taken today, Arizona would wind up in the middle of the pack.

Sissons said things in Arizona are better than they were in 2012, when funding for mental health in Arizona dropped because of the recession.

“We lost 200,000 who were childless adults,” she said. “Sadly, some of our individuals who need those services were in those 200,000.”

Sissons said programs started by then-Gov. Jan Brewer have led to an improvement in access to mental health care in Arizona.

“A couple of years ago, the state chose to do the restoration of benefits, as well as the expansion under the Affordable Care Act,” she said. “Several of the individuals who had lost their benefits are now back on the rolls, and we are seeing an uptick in the availability of services.”

The survey ranked Vermont as the best state for mental health care access. Nevada came in last.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Right Side Broadcasting Network Screenshot Photo)...

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake again bashes ‘McCain machine’ during CPAC appearance

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake continued her affront of John McCain during the Conservative Political Action Conference summit in Dallas on Saturday.
13 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)...

Thunderstorms possibilities in the metro Phoenix forecast throughout the week

Another set of storms are expected to pass through metro Phoenix this week, with the greatest chances of rain forecast for Tuesday.
13 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Most political campaign signs in metro Phoenix to be removed by next week

Tired of seeing political campaign signs around metro Phoenix? Well, most of them have to be gone soon.
13 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Department of Public Safety)...

Man arrested in Arizona after traffic stop leads to over 26 pounds of fentanyl

A 53-year-old man was arrested last month after authorities discovered over 26 pounds of fentanyl in his truck during a traffic stop in northern Arizona.
13 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@PhoenixPolice)...

Police search for 5-month-old taken from Phoenix foster home by biological mother

Police are looking for a 5-month-old girl who was taken from a foster home in Phoenix by her biological mother, authorities said. 
13 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)...

Silver Alert issued for 72-year-old man with dementia last seen in Chandler

A Silver Alert was issued for a 72-year-old man diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's disease who was last seen in Chandler on Saturday.
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Survey: Arizona among worst states for mental health care availability