Mental Health Parity Act: Interplay of Policy, Cultural And Societal Attitudes Within Clinical Social Work Practice

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16 pages in length. To discount mental health as playing an integral role within the scope of holistic wellbeing is akin to believing living beings could survive without sunlight. The mind and body work in the same synergistic fashion as the sun and moon; failure to maintain each aspect to its optimum level inherently impacts the other to the point where the system as a whole fails to operate. Insurance companies have historically ignored this alliance between body and mind in the quest to avoid providing coverage for mental illness; only when they were mandated to recognize this critical connection as spelled out in the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 did they finally extend the same treatment options to those with mental illnesses as they always had to those with physical ailments. Moreover, the Act also compelled insurance providers to take into consideration the extent to which cultural and social origins played a role in the onset and continuing presence of a mental health issue. Bibliography lists 18 sources.