a New study Published in Health Services Research, it looked at whether work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the United States have increased the use of mental health care.
“We wanted to determine whether imposing work requirements policies on SNAP (food stamp) enrollees increased their levels of depression and anxiety,” study author Lindsay Allen told us. “There is a well-established relationship between food insecurity and poor mental health, so we strongly suspect that these job demands – which make it difficult for the poor to get food – will harm the mental health of registrants.”
according to Economic Research Service From the US Department of Agriculture, nearly 90 percent of American households were food secure in 2021. The other ten percent of households were food insecure, and about 4 percent or more than five million households had low food security. Extremely. These percentages have not changed from the previous year.
“Business requirements — not just in SNAP, but for other public benefit programs like Medicaid — are a very controversial topic in policy circles these days,” Allen told us. “It is critical that policy decisions be based on evidence, rather than policy. We looked at what happened to SNAP registrants when they lost access to their food stamps due to the introduction of business requirements policies,” Allen told us.
The US federal government spent a total of $182.5 billion on USDA food and nutrition assistance programs in 2021. This spending was 49 percent more than in 2020 ($122.8 billion). SNAP spending also rose to a new high by 44 percent in 2021 compared to 2020.
Children made up 44 percent of all SNAP participants in 2018. Adults made up 42 percent of SNAP participants in 2018. SNAP served over 35 million people per month in 2019. The state with the highest percentage was Enrollment in the SNAP program is New Mexico at about 20 per cent. Wyoming was the state with the lowest SNAP enrollment ratio at just over four percent.
According to the USDA’s USDA Food and Nutrition Service, SNAP requirements include a requirement to apply in the state in which a person currently lives and there are certain resource and income limits that are updated annually.
The researchers found that exposure to SNAP work requirements was associated with increased healthcare use of mood and anxiety disorders among enrollees.
“Although we were not surprised by the results, we were very disappointed by them. We urge policy makers to consider all of the cascading effects that occur when they make changes to public benefit programs.”
“SNAP feeds poor families – and this improves their physical and mental health, along with their financial stability,” Allen told us. “By taking these benefits away from families, we are harming them across all of these dimensions. And most importantly – we don’t see people entering the labor market as a result of these policy changes – which is the effect they are intended to have. So now we have policies that don’t improve the economy, and they hurt as well. Low-income individuals in multiple ways. Any policy maker should ask themselves: Is it worth it?”
Patricia Tomasi is a mother, maternal mental health advocate, journalist, and speaker. She writes regularly for Huffington Post Canada, and focuses primarily on the mental health of the mother after suffering from severe anxiety after giving birth twice. you can find it Huffington Post biography here. Patricia is also an expert patient advisor for the North American-based Maternal Mental Health Research Group and is the founder of the online peer support group – Postpartum Anxiety and Depression Support Group on Facebook – With more than 1500 members around the world. Articles: www.patriciatomasiblog.wordpress.com