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Mental Health, Work and Mental Health Service Use among Low-Income Mothers

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Document date: August 01, 2007
Released online: August 16, 2007

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

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Abstract

This paper analyzes how mental health problems impede low-income mothers' ability to work and how health insurance improves access to mental health treatment services.  According to data from the 2002 National Survey of America's Families, low-income mothers in poor mental health are significantly less likely to work and to work full time than those without these problems.  Low-income mothers with public or private health insurance are significantly more likely to receive treatment than those without insurance.  Mental health problems are an important barrier to work among low-income women, and access to treatment could be improved through increased health insurance coverage.

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Topics/Tags: | Employment | Health/Healthcare | Poverty, Assets and Safety Net


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