By Scott Earisman, LCMHC, LADC
With so much attention now focused nationally on “The Healthcare Debate,” and with Vermont in the forefront of changes to the healthcare system, I thought that it is time to look at the part of that system that delivers mental health and substance abuse services.
Nationally, it is estimated that up to 70% of visits to primary care doctors have a psychosocial component that may best be treated by a psychotherapist. Psychiatric medications account for roughly 60-70% of all prescriptions written by those doctors. (C.J. Peek, at the Bridging the Divide conference, 11-16-09.) Roughly 10% of all Vermonters covered by the private managed care organizations are receiving care for mental health or substance abuse reasons. (2009 Insurer Mental Health and Substance Abuse Report card.) Continue reading