This article reports on a nationally representative survey of 168 mental health care professionals about the prevalence and cost of their treatment of crime victims.
It is estimated that in 1991, between 3.1 and 4.7 million people in the United States received some form of mental health counseling or therapy in which they were being treated primarily as a result of victimization. More than half of these victims are estimated to be adults being seen for child sexual or physical abuse that occurred years prior to their victimization. Crime victims are estimated to represent approximately 20 percent to 25 percent of the total client population of mental health care professionals. Actual expenditures for mental health care services to victims of crime are estimated to be between $5.8 and $6.8 billion. Although the survey was nationally representative and provides reasonable estimates of the magnitude of mental health care use by victims, it is only a preliminary study. Future research should widen the scope of mental health care providers and increase the sample size to validate estimates. 6 tables, 20 notes, and 16 references
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