Barriers to Seeking Help for Mental Health Issues in Women Ages 22 – 64

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The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to make more comprehensive health care services available and affordable. However, if barriers other than affordability exist and are not addressed, the newly available services will continue to be under-utilized. Using a theoretical framework of help-seeking behavior, the two research questions are: (a) To what extent do barriers other than affordability exist in women accessing mental health care services? and (b) To what extent do the identified barriers affect help-seeking behavior? For this pilot study we surveyed women, who ranged in age (22-64), employment status, type of health insurance, and mental health diagnosis. We identified clear barriers such as homelessness and stigma, which increased delay in and desire to seek help for mental health issues. Our findings support "housing-first" initiatives, programs in the work place for early detection and prevention, and co-locating mental health and physical primary care services.

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Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences, v. 12