AMHCA Reports

Beyond the Perfect Storm –
How Racism, Covid-19, and Economic Meltdown Imperil Our Mental Health

Joel E. Miller, M.S. Ed. Executive Director and CEO American Mental Health Counselors Association
Angele Moss-Baker, LPC, LMFT, MAC, DCMHS-COD President, American Mental Health Counselors Association, 2020–2021
Eric T. Beeson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, CRC President, American Mental Health Counselors Association, 2019–2020
Gray Otis, Ph.D., LCMHC, CCMHC, AMHCA Diplomate–Trauma President, American Mental Health Counselors Association, 2011–2012
Napoleon Harrington, M.A., LPC, NCC Founder and Therapist of the Ambassador Counseling & Resource Group (ACRG)
Beverly Smith, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CCMHC, ACS, BC-TMH, CFT, MAC

In addition to threatening Americans’ physical health and economic stability, the coronavirus pandemic has caused high levels of emotional distress throughout the country. The levels are so high in fact that the report’s co-authors believe the country faces an imminent national mental health crisis—unless Congress, states, and local communities take action. Undeniably, U.S. society is in a collective state of traumatic distress.

According to the study, the impact of racism, the pandemic, and an economic downturn will worsen over the next few years, and the tsunami of mental health misery will include:

  • Wage earners who will not be rehired
  • Health-compromised individuals with a pre-existing condition
  • Social drinkers who are now consuming more and more alcohol
  • Parents who agonize about the future of their school-age children and disabled children
  • Uninsured Americans who will not receive help for chronic anxiety and depression

Dashed Hopes; Broken Promises; More Despair

By Joel E. Miller

A new, groundbreaking study shows that nearly 4 million people with mental illnesses who are uninsured reside in the 25 states that have refused to participate in the Medicaid Expansion program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of these individuals have severe mental health conditions and currently have no health insurance coverage through any public or private plan, but will be denied the opportunity to obtain coverage for treatment since those states have refused to participate. States declining Medicaid Expansion represent 55 percent of all uninsured people with major mental health disorders who are eligible for coverage in the new health insurance access initiative.

Access Denied

Prepared by Joel E. Miller, James K. Finley, Rebecca Gibson and Whitney Meyerhoeffer

A new groundbreaking study from the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) shows that nearly 570,000 people diagnosed with a serious mental health condition, would have received affordable, needed treatments, but were denied access to services because several states refused to participate in the new Medicaid Expansion Program. The federal government would have paid 100 percent of the treatment costs; the monies were already included in the federal budget. The comprehensive study also highlights that 458,000 fewer people would have avoided a depressive disorder mainly by securing health insurance through the Medicaid Expansion Program.