The Psychiatry of Mental Health and Minorities

Updated: Apr 26


Minorities are just a likely as non-minorities to experience severe mental disorders such as

anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, they are far less likely to receive

treatment. For instance, the percentage of African Americans receiving needed care is only half

that of whites, and 24% of Hispanics with depression and anxiety receive appropriate care

compared to 34% of whites with the same diagnosis. Reasons include a lack of access to

services, cultural and language barriers, and limited research concerning mental health and

minorities.

Many studies have found that lack of access to services is strongly associated with one& #39;s level of

income and access to medical insurance. Racial and ethnic minorities have higher rates of

poverty and a much greater likelihood of being uninsured .Also, many minorities live in rural,

isolated areas where access to mental health services is limited. Language is a significant barrier

to receiving appropriate mental healthcare. The language barrier often deters individuals from

seeking treatment.

Minorities who experience severe mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder

and schizophrenia, are far less likely to receive treatment. Many people from different cultures

see mental illness as shameful and delay treatment until symptoms reach crisis proportions. The culture of physicians and a mental health clinic influences how they interpret symptoms and interact with patients.

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