Lack of providers
The region faces a shortage of behavioral health providers, and treatment for behavior health is not available in most primary care settings, exacerbating the lack of access. National research on mental illness and addiction indicates that more than 60 percent of adults with a diagnosable behavioral health condition and nearly 90 percent of individuals over the age of 12 with a substance use disorder do not receive appropriate treatment. Local data suggests that similar unmet needs exist in the Finger Lakes region.
In the Finger Lakes region, more adults report experiencing poor mental health days than in the state overall. Medicaid beneficiaries in the region experience a 40 percent higher rate of mental disease and disorder diagnosis and 14 percent higher substance use disorder diagnosis rate than the New York State Medicaid population overall.
To address these issues, the Regional Commission on Community Health Improvement drew on the insights of 45 experts from social services, county government and the medical community. Their recommendations, released in July 2015, include integrating mental health services with medical care, expanding the use of telepsychiatry for distance treatment and using social media to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Links to the full set of recommendations and supporting research are below.