May 5, 2009 --
More than 1 in 4 adults will experience a mental health problem in any given year. But spending on this problem lags well behind other medical spending. The number of cases are on the rise, thanks to greater recognition and awareness of illnesses such as depression, alcoholism and eating disorders. But a report in the journal Health finds these patients often have trouble getting treatment.
The US spends less than $150 per person treating mental health problems. That's compared to $2,600 per person for all other types of health issues.
The good news is, more insurance companies are now providing mental health benefits, and more Americans have been using prescription drugs to treat the problem.