Monday, May 17, 2010

"Massachusetts residents seek mental health treatment at levels higher than just about anywhere else in the country, "

In an article about limits on mental health services, I found the following kind of interesting (via Newsalert) :

Massachusetts residents seek mental health treatment at levels higher than just about anywhere else in the country, according to data from United Behavioral Health, a California-based insurer that is the nation’s largest providing mental health services.

It is the insurer used by the Group Insurance Commission and many Massachusetts companies, and its records show that nearly 12 percent of the nearly 1.2 million state residents covered by United’s insurance receive mental health treatment, second in the nation to Rhode Islanders, at 12.9 percent.

Dr. Rhonda Robinson Beale, United’s chief medical officer, said the recession has forced many of the companies for which it provides coverage to make tough choices. “Our customers are facing downsizing or laying off people,’’ Beale said, “and they’re also trying to maintain benefits for people and trying not to increase their out-of-pocket costs.’’


I wonder why more Massachusetts residents seek mental health treatment than the rest of the country? Do they just believe in talk therapy more? Is it something else about their environment that is causing emotional problems? Or do they just use the services because they are available, or do more people with emotional problems move to Massachusetts?

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19 Comments:

Blogger sykes.1 said...

They do it because they are crazy. How else do you explain the wackjobs they elect?

8:42 AM, May 17, 2010  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

I promise you that if Californians had less of a group denial thing going on, there'd be a lot more help sought around here, too.

10:18 AM, May 17, 2010  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

There's another possibility that hasn't been suggested yet. It could just be that they're just as mentally-unstable as everyone but more aware of that fact and therefore are seeking treatment for their mental problems (as sykes.1 noted, though, it's obviously not working).

12:04 PM, May 17, 2010  
Blogger fred said...

Stating that more of this does such and such than in any other state tells us nothing at all if there is no explanation to understand what is being asserted.

1:28 PM, May 17, 2010  
Blogger BarryD said...

Perhaps, as Crocodile Dundee said, they 'aven't got any mates.

2:10 PM, May 17, 2010  
Blogger wild chicken said...

LOL, no wonder my step chose to do his psychiatry residency in Boston. He's set for life now!

5:17 PM, May 17, 2010  
Blogger Armed Texan said...

I'm going to guess that since the residence are forced to buy insurance then they are more likely to use it for marginal complaints.

5:26 PM, May 17, 2010  
Blogger LarryD said...

You realize that none of the hypothetical causes are mutually exclusive, right?

They could all be true, in varying percentages

12:48 AM, May 18, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Cause & Effect

I can't speak to the 'cause' of Massachusetts' mental health issues, but I will point out the fact that they kept putting Ted Kennedy into office after Chappaquiddick as evidence they HAVE a problem.

Or....

....maybe all those couch trips were really brain-washing sessions, a la the beauty salon in In Like Flint

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[I don't like political jokes. I've seen too many of them elected to high office.]

4:23 AM, May 18, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.S. However, your report DOES remind me of a famous statement by a prominent Southerner when he learned that South Carolina had suceded from the Union....

It [South Carolina] is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum. -- James L. Petigru

And Massachusetts is certainly smaller than South Carolina.....{nudge-nudge, wink-wink}

4:31 AM, May 18, 2010  
Blogger Stormbringer said...

Probably guilty consciences for keeping felons like Ted Kennedy in office and for approving of destructive leftist policies for destroying the country. No, not surprising that they need what is left of their consciences soothed.

6:20 AM, May 18, 2010  
Blogger Helen said...

Armed Texan,

Good point. I wonder if by being forced to buy insurance, more people use it for those services that are "helpful," like therapy. Since it's available, they might as well use it.

8:23 AM, May 18, 2010  
Blogger God Of Bacon said...

It's a good place to develop psychiatric problems.

10:30 AM, May 18, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: God of Bacon, et al.
RE: Indeed

It's a good place to develop psychiatric problems. -- God of Bacon

I recall a Time Magazine article from the 1970s about driving in different large cities.

It reported that in Rome it was considered a cardinal sin to be last away from a traffic signal.

In Tokyo, they said the taxis were driven by retired kamakazi pilots.

In Boston, they merely said "Driving was 'different'", as the caption to an overhead shot of one of their infamous traffic circles....jammed with cars in such a crazy-quilt manner that NO ONE was able to move.

That would certainly lead to mental health issues.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Drive defensively; buy a tank.]

12:50 PM, May 18, 2010  
Blogger Jerub-Baal said...

"I wonder why more Massachusetts residents seek mental health treatment than the rest of the country? Do they just believe in talk therapy more? Is it something else about their environment that is causing emotional problems? Or do they just use the services because they are available, or do more people with emotional problems move to Massachusetts?"

Good Doctor, I'm suprised that you missed the one obvious reason, that the culture and politics of Massachusetts are the cause of the problem.

... though I guess that would be a specific theory under "something about the enviroment"

1:34 PM, May 19, 2010  
Blogger br549 said...

My aunt lives there. She drives everyone crazy.

8:28 PM, May 19, 2010  
Blogger Scott said...

I'm thinking Ted kennedy had something to with mentail illness rate.

11:20 AM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Scott said...

Or vice versa.

11:21 AM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Parker Smith said...

I think it's because mental health coverage is required as part of any health insurance coverage package.

You have to get coverage, and can't buy coverage without it.

But no, that couldn't be it - mandates never drive up costs...

3:26 PM, May 25, 2010  

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