Health

Published on August 4th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Minority Groups And Mental Health Treatment: Reasons Why Some Do Not Get The Care They Need

By Kelley E. Smith, Ph.D., Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D. and Rachel Rush, M.A.

(NAPSI)—Without treatment, mental health problems can negatively affect many areas of a person’s life. It is important for all people to have access to health care, particularly if mental health treatment is needed. However, there are some obstacles for some minority groups to getting this care.

Each year, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) collects mental health data about civilian, noninstitutionalized adults (aged 18+ years and older) in the U.S. In 2013, about 18.5 percent (43.8 million) of U.S. adults had any mental illness (AMI). Adults with AMI ranged from 28.1 percent for people who report having two or more races. Mental illnesses were experienced by 26.0 percent of the American Indian or Alaska Native populations and 12.3 percent of the Asian population.

When asked if they received counseling or treatment for any mental health problem in the past year, the percentages of adults who used mental health services ranged from 20.2 percent for people of two or more races to 4.1 percent among Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders.

About 8.4 million adults (19.3 percent of adults with AMI) thought they had an unmet need for mental health care. And of those, 3.4 million (39.9 percent) did not receive any mental health services in the past year.

When people are asked why they do not receive the mental health care they need, the most common reasons included an inability to afford the cost of care (55.3 percent). Also, many people reported not knowing where to go for services (25.5 percent), believing at the time that the problem could be handled without treatment (24.6 percent), and not having the time to go for care (14.8 percent).

For information on where to get mental health or substance abuse treatment, please visit https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov. For more information on mental health, please visit www.mentalhealth.gov.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

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