Objective: The study examined attitudes among Americans about policies to require insurance parity for mental health and substance abuse benefits and to increase government spending on mental health treatment. Methods: A Web-based public opinion survey was conducted with a national sample (N=1,517). Analyses examined how sociodemographic characteristics, political affiliation, personal experience with mental illness, and attitudes toward persons with mental illness were associated with policy support. Results: Sixty-nine percent supported insurance parity, and 59% supported increasing government spending. Democrats were more supportive than Republicans or Independents. Personal experience was associated with higher support for both policies, and stigmatizing attitudes were associated with less support. Conclusions: Most Americans favored policies to expand insurance and funding, but stigma was associated with lower support for both policies. This finding highlights the importance of developing robust antistigma efforts, particularly in an era when mental illness is increasingly linked to dangerousness in news media portrayals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health