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Why Aren't Coloradans Getting the Mental Health Care They Need?

More than 442,000 Coloradans said they did not get the mental health care they needed in 2015. That’s one of ten residents of our state.

Why Aren't Coloradans Getting the Mental Health Care They Need?

More than 442,000 Coloradans said they did not get the mental health care they needed in 2015. That’s one of ten residents of our state.

The interactive graphics below show the reasons cited by those who did not get needed care. The data vary by age, gender, education, income and insurance. Click through the story to see the data.  

Some high level takeaways:

Age

Older Coloradans are most likely to report stigma as the reason they did not get needed care. More than two thirds of those ages 65 and older who said they did not get needed care said it was because they did not feel comfortable talking with a health professional about their personal problems. Those in the 19- to 64-year-old age group were most likely to cite cost.

Education

Coloradans without a high school diploma were more likely than high school grads to say there was a time they did not get needed mental health care – 14.2 percent compared with 9.4 percent of high school grads. Reasons for not receiving that care for Coloradans without a high school diploma are more likely to be related to stigma and appointment availability than for high school graduates.

Gender

The CHAS data don’t reveal many differences between males and females in their reasons for foregoing mental health care. However, females are more likely than males to report difficulty obtaining an appointment.

Income

Fourteen percent of Coloradans in the lowest income bracket – zero to 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) — say they did not get needed mental health care in the past year. This rate was higher than all other income groups. However, the reasons for foregoing care by income do not follow such a steady pattern.  

Insurance

Stigma is more likely to prevent the uninsured and the publicly insured from receiving care than the privately insured.  Nearly 90 percent of the uninsured who did not get needed care cited cost as the reason. 

Use the interactive graphic below to explore the data.

See more of CHI's behavioral health analyses here.