Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Thomas Davis


Approximately 46.6 million adults in the United States live with a mental illness as of 2017. Therefore, managed care being the system that facilitates access to mental health treatment needs to be addressed. Managed care (such as healthcare plans) seeks to facilitate healthcare service delivery by providing direction and guidance to utilization and prevention of services. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore social work perspectives on the constraints of managed care as it impacts access to mental health treatment. This study conducted qualitative interviews through a non-random sample of professional colleagues of social workers in the in the manage care field. This study found five emerging themes including long wait times, lack of providers (to provide timely, effective mental health treatment), over diagnosing to justify services, profit-driven service delivery, and managed care not aligning with social work values. The implications of this study urge the need for accountability and consistency through policy change and reform.

Included in

Social Work Commons