Mental Health, Stigma, And Utilization Of Mental Heath Care

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A growing clinical issue related to access to and utilization of mental heath care is stigma and health disparities, specifically related to different race backgrounds. The American Psychological Association (APA) declares the need for “increasing the number of racial and ethnic minority mental/behavioral health professionals and creating a culturally competent workforce to meet the needs of the expanding minority population of the United States” (American Psychological Association (APA)). Not only does the current healthcare workforce not reflect the diversity of our country, but also minority groups lack comprehensive and easy access to the same, quality mental health care of those in the white majority (APA). The growing unequal access to …show more content…
just a few miles from campus does not escape me. In clinical at PIW, the unequal access to quality care, the increased stigma of mental health issues, and the lack of a supportive environment in Southeast DC are very apparent. Not only are these issues prevalent, but they also make it harder for minorities with mental health issues to live healthy, normal lives. There are many actions that nurses and other mental healthcare providers can engage in to address this issue. First, changing the conversation surrounding mental health may help reduce the stigma of seeking out and receiving mental health care in minority populations. A recent study by Connor et al. (2010) notes that “African American older adults were more likely to internalize stigma and endorsed less positive attitudes toward seeking mental health treatment than their white counterparts” and that “stigma associated with having a mental illness has a negative influence on attitudes and intentions toward seeking mental health services among older adults with depression, particularly African American elders” (p. 540). In other words, interventions to target internalized stigma are needed to help engage this population in psychosocial mental

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