treating mental disorders to lower medical costs: I like the conclusion

The APA has argued that when you treat mental disorders, you don’t need to spend as much on physical healthcare, for a variety of reasons.

The linked article contains references to a bunch of studies, but is remarkably not like an APA paper in that it doesn’t mention and address any studies that were not favorable to its conclusion (something you have to do in science). It’s not possible to tell from reading it what the obstacles are to implementing better psych treatment, and it doesn’t seem targeted – i.e., it doesn’t mention and probably doesn’t address the concerns of the people it’s aimed at.

I really wish it did. I would much rather be writing a blog entry about how APA was carefully attempting to address the issues involved in convincing insurance companies (hospitals? other healthcare providers? the government?) to offer cheaper/better mental health treatment.

It’s so easy to do advocacy focused on showing you’re right, and so hard to do advocacy focused on removing the obstacles preventing your target audience from doing what you want them to do. But you don’t have to go all out to acknowledge why they aren’t taking your position, and to address those reasons.

I do think APA is probably right – and even if they’re not, I believe that appropriate mental health care (and physical health care) should be available to everyone, everywhere.


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