Mental illness cases have risen in California, while treatment and funding have not kept up.
Every Southern California county has experienced an upward trend in the rate at which children under 18 years are hospitalized for a mental health issue.
“The mental health system has been plagued by gaps in services, access and funding,” says Dr. Dr. Clayton with St. Joseph Hoag Health. “People with severe mental health and substance abuse conditions struggle to receive needed care in their communities due to stigma and difficulty navigating a complicated system.
“Often, patients with severe mental illness and substance use disorders end up in hospital emergency rooms because they have nowhere else to go.”
Since 1995, California’s population has increased by more than 7 million people, but the facilities and beds for acute psychiatric care have decreased.
Prevalence in the U.S.
43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year.