Behavioral Health


Epidemiologic data on the prevalence of psychiatric and substance disorders compared with the nation’s behavioral health care needs highlights gaps in service adequacy. Continuing changes in organization and fiscal structures resulting from the implementation of the Patient  Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), specifically how Medicaid expansion impacts behavioral health services, is an important area of concern. In addition, there are special challenges of the homeless and incarcerated mentally ill populations. Behavioral health also has a  workforce shortage. This is another area for improvement in health care organizations throughout the nation.

Review and analyze the graphs in Figure 10-1, Prevalence of any  Mental Illness Among U. S. Adults; Figure 10-2, Prevalence of Serious  Mental Illness Among U.S. Adults; Figure 10-3, Top Leading Disease or  Disorder Categories Contributing to U.S. Disability-Adjusted Life Years  (DALYs) (2010), and Figure 10-4, U.S. DALYs for Mental and Behavioral  Disorders as a Percent of Total U.S. DALYs.

Some of the barriers to care are provider geographic distribution,  financial limitations, lack of or inadequate health insurance, stigma,  misunderstandings about the treatability of conditions, personal and provider attitudes, cultural issues, and a poorly organized care  delivery system (see page 285 of the textbook). Consider also the mental health services of children and adolescents. Consider the current events with mass shootings at schools, movie theaters, concerts, et cetera and have tough conversations about mental health.


Write a three to four-page paper in which you:

  1. Analyze the graphs and figures noted and describe your findings in behavioral health.
  2. Explain the Mental Health Parity and Addition Equity Act of 2008.
  3. Explain the role of the National Institute of Mental Health and  its influence on access to and utilization of health care services within the current health care system.
  4. Use at least three recent (that is, last five years) quality academic resources in this assignment.


    Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify as academic resources.

This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing  Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your  professor for any additional instructions.

The specific course learning outcome associated with this assignment is:

  • Assess the impact of legislation and a research organization on utilization of health care services.