Clinical Psychology Review
URL with Digital Object Identifier
Epidemiological studies have identified high prevalence rates of anxiety and depression in North America [e.g., J. of Nerv. Ment. Dis. 182 (1994) 290]. However, only a small percentage of these individuals access effective treatment. The undertreatment of anxiety and depression is a major public health issue and is associated with significant personal, social, and economic burden. This article describes the existing discrepancy between prevalence of anxiety and depression and access to effective treatment for adults and children, the contributors to this discrepancy, and suggests various means through which access to effective treatment may be enhanced. We begin with a brief overview of the prevalence and associated personal, societal, and systemic burdens of anxiety and depression. This is followed by a review of current rates of access to treatment and possible individual, provider, and systemic barriers to accessing treatment. Recommendations for bridging the gap between the high rates of these disorders and limited accessibility of effective care are then presented.