New study looks at mental health services disparities in U.S.

In 2001, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher released a detailed report discussing disparities in access, quality and availability of mental health services for racial and ethnic minorities. At that time, Dr. Satcher encouraged the mental health community to “embrace the nation’s diversity, in the conduct of research, in the education and training of our mental health service providers and in the delivery of service.”

So how are we doing more than ten years later? Not so good. That according to Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Ph.D., Loyola University, Chicago, and Jeanne Miranda, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, who recently authored the article Progress in improving mental health services for racial-ethnic minority groups: a ten-year perspective. Their study examined progress in making the mental health workforce more diverse and in better representing racial-ethnic minority groups in randomized intervention trials of common mental disorders. The authors concluded that with the exception of Asian-American psychiatrists, minority groups are still poorly represented among mental health professionals. Additionally, few ethnic-specific analyses are being conducted and minority populations are often not being represented in large enough numbers to result in separate analyses.

More information can be found here.

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