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E. Stigma and Mental Health Disorders

Narrator: This is Science Today. Mental illness affects one in five Americans each year - and yet, a UCLA study has found about two-thirds of people with serious depression or anxiety disorders do not receive proper care. Psychologist Alexander Young says it has been suggested that major advances in medications and the emergence of managed care have improved the quality of treatment over the last few decades.

Young: I think this study shows, that's just not the case. That there really has not been substantial improvement over the past decade or two with regard to treatment of these disorders. So I think we need to look for answers as to how treatment can become improved and how people can become aware of treatment.

Narrator: Another problem, Young says, is there's still a stigma associated with mental heath disorders.

Young: There has been some progress with regard to stigma and more people are likely to see this as a genuine, biological problem and something that's amenable to treatment. I think there's still a fair amount of stigma left there, probably in ethnic groups and communities and problems in care. But it is improving.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.