Racial And Cultural Disparities In Mental Health Care

1691 Words 7 Pages
Background

Historically individuals have faced medical and social boundaries for accessing mental health services. Health insurance plans discriminated against people living with a mental illness by offering fewer benefits and more restrictions for mental health treatment than medical treatment. To account for the disparity in services, the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (MHPA) was enacted by Congress. The law represented progress in mental health policy, but it “did not address treatment limits, the restrictions on the types of facilities covered, differences in cost sharing, and the application of managed care techniques” (Health Affairs, 2014). Thus, the U.S. government made a second attempt to correct discriminatory health care practices
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Currently within scientific literature there is a “lack of evidence to demonstrate that practices that are effective with the majority of the population are also effective with racial and ethnic diverse groups” (Drake, 2005). It is vital that more research be conducted with diverse groups. Cultural competent care can “help to address the disparity of access, receipt of, and outcomes of mental health services” (Drake, 2005). If an individual feels that their values are respected and accounted for in their treatment then they will be more likely to participate in services and feel satisfied with …show more content…
The federal government could also fund grants to top research one institutions across the country so that more studies are conducted on mental health treatment and interventions to examine whether or not it is effective for people of color. If it is determined that current practices are not effective for certain groups then more money should be invested to determine more effective alternatives. The state government can also help to develop standards to close the gap in for minorities groups in their region. Some states have already developed specific assessment tools to provide cultural competent mental health treatment (Drake, 2005, p. 283). However, there would still need to be work done to address the variation in how each state addresses cultural competence (Drake, 2005,

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