The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is working to address the significant challenges of mental illness and substance abuse and reduce their negative impacts on families and communities by investing in a system of prevention, care, and treatment.
Behavioral health disorders are common in the United States, affecting some 44 million adults and 13.7 million children each year. In North Carolina, the University of North Carolina Sheps Center reports that half of those in need of mental health treatment do not receive it. Similarly, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 90 percent of North Carolinians with illicit drug or alcohol dependence or abuse go without treatment.
Mental health disorders are as disabling as heart disease or cancer in terms of premature death and lost productivity, but are often treatable using medication and other therapies. There are many barriers to diagnosis, treatment and care: a shortage of services and providers, especially in rural areas; a failure to link physical and mental health care and inequity in the way services are provided; lack of public awareness of effective treatments; lack of health insurance coverage and financial costs; and stigma. The unmet need for treatment is greatest among the underserved, including the elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, the financially disadvantaged, the uninsured, and those living in rural areas.
To address gaps in available behavioral health care services and treatment, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is working with local, regional, statewide, and national partners to support efforts to reduce disparities in care and bolster programs proven to improve outcomes.
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