The Economy and Stress: Women Bear Brunt

Monday, October 13th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Given the alarming state of our nation’s economy, there are few surprises in the newly released 2008 Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association, a featured story this week. The survey found that the economy is a significant stressor for eight out of 10 Americans and that women are more stressed than men about money (83 percent vs. 78 percent), the economy (84 percent vs. 75 percent), job stability (57 percent vs. 55 percent), housing costs (66 percent vs. 58 percent) and health problems affecting their families (70 percent vs. 63 percent).

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict more stress-related health conditions in the months ahead. That’s why the timing of the new mental health parity bill is fortuitous. The bill, which mandates equal coverage for mental and physical conditions by January 2010, was a surprise component of the economic bailout bill passed earlier this month. The bill reinforces or adds to existing state parity laws in Minnesota and more than 40 other states to ensure that payors already offering coverage for mental illness, addiction and other behavioral health conditions will reimburse on the same terms as medical and surgical conditions.

This law could have implications for current and future behavioral health offerings, including those for depression management. Take our e-survey on depression and disease management programs and receive a complimentary e-summary of the results in November to help you with program planning in the year to come.

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