Narrator: This is Science Today. A bid to increase access to mental health care failed to pass in Congress last month, sparking a flurry of concern that persons with mental illness will not receive adequate treatment. UCLA psychologist Alexander Young, recently published one of the first national studies to evaluate the quality of mental health care.
Young: We found that about two-thirds of people with serious depression or anxiety disorders weren't getting appropriate treatment during the past year, in fact didn't receive much of anything that's likely to be helpful. So it provided an opportunity to really get a more definitive national sense of what's going on.
Narrator: Young says in a given year, over nine percent of the U.S. population has a mental health disorder.
Young: And that's a very high percentage. And so the odds of people getting these disorders or developing one of these disorders is actually quite real. I think we may just want to ensure that there is adequate mental health coverage so that people are protected even if they don't expect these problems to develop.
Narrator: Young says one of the obstacles to get over is the stigma that's often associated with mental health disorders. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.