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Culture, Race, and Ethnicity: A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. America draws strength from its cultural diversity.

The contributions of racial and ethnic minorities have suffused all areas of contemporary life. Diversity has made our Nation a more vibrant and open society, ablaze in ideas, perspectives, and innovations.

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But the full potential of our diverse, multicultural society cannot be realized until all Americans, including racial and ethnic minorities, gain access to quality health care that meets their needs. This Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General U. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], Studies indicate that sexual orientation is quizlet free the existence of striking disparities for minorities in mental health services and the underlying knowledge base.

Racial and ethnic minorities have less access to mental health services than do whites. When they receive care, it is more likely to be poor in quality. These disparities have powerful significance for minority groups and for society as a whole.

A major finding of this Supplement is that racial and ethnic minorities bear a greater burden from unmet mental health Studies indicate that sexual orientation is quizlet free and thus suffer a greater loss to their overall health and productivity.

This conclusion draws on prominent international and national findings. One is that mental disorders are highly disabling across all populations. Another important finding comes from the largest disability study ever conducted in the United States It found that one-third of disabled 3 adults ages living in the community 4 reported having a mental disorder contributing to their disability Druss et al.

While neither of these studies addressed the disability burden for minorities relative to whites, key findings from this Supplement do: Most minority groups are less likely than whites to use services, and they receive poorer quality mental health care, despite having similar community rates of mental disorders.

Similar prevalence, combined with lower utilization and poorer quality of care, means that minority communities have a higher proportion of individuals with unmet mental health needs.

Further, minorities are overrepresented among the Nation's vulnerable, high-need 5 groups, such as homeless and incarcerated persons. These subpopulations have higher rates of mental disorders than do people living in the community Koegel et al. Taken together, the evidence suggests that the disability burden from unmet mental health needs is disproportionately high for racial and ethnic minorities relative to whites.

The greater disability burden to minorities is of grave concern to public health, and it has very real consequences. Ethnic and racial minorities do not yet completely share in the hope afforded by remarkable scientific advances in understanding and treating mental disorders. Because of preventable disparities in mental health services, a disproportionate number of minorities are not fully benefiting from, or contributing to, the opportunities and prosperity of our society. More is known about the existence of disparities in mental health services - and their significance - than the reasons behind them.

The most likely explanations, identified in Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon Generalare expanded upon throughout this Supplement. They trace to a mix of barriers deterring minorities from seeking treatment or operating to reduce its quality once they reach treatment. The foremost barriers include the cost of care, societal stigma, and the fragmented organization of services.

Additional barriers include clinicians' lack of awareness of cultural issues, bias, or inability to speak the client's language, and the client's fear and mistrust of treatment. More broadly, disparities also stem from minorities' historical and present day struggles with racism and discrimination, which affect their mental health and contribute to their lower economic, social, and political status.

The cumulative weight and interplay of all of these barriers, not any single one alone, is likely responsible for mental health disparities.

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Furthermore, these barriers operate to discernibly different degrees for different individuals Studies indicate that sexual orientation is quizlet free groups, depending on life circumstances, age, gender, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs.

What becomes amply clear from this report is that there are no uniform racial or ethnic groups, white or nonwhite. Rather, each is highly heterogeneous, including a diverse mix of immigrants, refugees, and multigenerational Americans, with vastly different histories, languages, spiritual practices, demographic patterns, and cultures. This Supplement, Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicityis an outgrowth of the report, Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon Generalthe first Surgeon General's report ever issued on mental health and mental illness.

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That report hereinafter called the SGR called attention to several overarching points that resonate throughout this Supplement Box Through extensive documentation of the scientific literature, the report found that mental disorders are real and disabling conditions for which there are a range of effective treatments. It found that the efficacy of mental health treatment is well documented.

On the basis of these findings, the Surgeon General made a single, explicit recommendation for everyone: Seek help if you have a mental health problem or think you have symptoms of a mental disorder. This Supplement affirms this vital recommendation and the major findings in which it is firmly anchored.

Overall, the SGR provided hope for people with, or at risk for, mental disorders by presenting the evidence for what can be done to prevent and treat mental illness.

It also provided hope for recovery from mental illness. In his Preface, however, the Surgeon General pointed out that all Americans do not share this Studies indicate that sexual orientation is quizlet free equally: Even more than other areas of health and medicine, the mental health field is plagued by disparities in the availability of and access to its services.

These disparities Studies indicate that sexual orientation is quizlet free viewed readily through the lenses of racial and cultural diversity, age, and gender. Themes of the Report Mental health and mental illness require the broad focus of a public health approach. Mental disorders are disabling conditions Mental health and mental illness are points on a continuum. Mind and body are inseparable. Stigma is a major obstacle preventing people from getting help. Messages from the Surgeon General Mental health is fundamental to health.

Mental illnesses are real health conditions. The efficacy of mental health treatments is well documented A range of treatments exists for most mental disorders. This Supplement was undertaken to probe more deeply into mental health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minorities.

Drawing on scientific evidence from a wide-ranging body of empirical research, the Supplement has three purposes: To understand better the nature and extent of mental health disparities, To present the evidence on the need for mental health services and on the provision of services to meet those needs, and To document promising directions toward the elimination of mental health disparities and the promotion of mental health.

This Supplement covers the four most recognized racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States. Hispanic American Latino is an ethnicity and may apply to a person of any race U. For example, many people from the Dominican Republic identify their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino and their race as black. Office of Management and Budget created these four categories for the collection of census and other types of information by Federal agencies.

One limitation is that each category groups together an extremely heterogeneous array of ethnic groups.

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