Millions Are Denied Mental Health Treatment

Not only can mental illness can lead to death, but it is also the leading cause of disability. Millions of Americans face discrimination when they need help the most, according to the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems (NAPHS). NAPHS president and CEO Mark Covall detailed the challenges in a letter submitted for a House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Oversight Committee hearing. According to Covall, a little-known provision in the law — Medicaid Institution for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion — prevents adult Medicaid enrollees (ages 21 to 64) from getting short-term, acute care in psychiatric hospitals. The exclusion penalizes the disabled and the poor. He stressed that people are not getting the psychiatric hospital treatment they need, putting families and communities at risk.  NAPHS is calling on Congress to modify the IMD exclusion. For more information, visit

Last Updated 08/10/2022

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