Jails fail to accommodate people with mental illness. In some cases, it’s a civil rights violation.

©WITF: Martha Stringer, at left, talks with her daughter Kimberly Stringer, at right. The Stringers have filed a lawsuit against Bucks County Correctional Facility employees after Kimberly was pepper-sprayed and restrained while detained there while suffering from a mental health condition.

Healing Through Culture: Increasing access to Native American practices to treat mental health

Wayne Wilson, standing in a hogan at the Native American Baha’i Institute in Houck, holds eagle feathers he uses in traditional healing ceremonies. © Laura Bargfeld/Cronkite News

California is trying to house the homeless through a health insurance program. It worked for this man.

Donald Winston adjusts the blinds moments after moving into his new apartment — the first-ever home of his own. ©Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

Racial disparities in mental health care: An explainer and research roundup

©chenspec from Pixabay
©chenspec from Pixabay

The Journalist’s Resource, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University

May 18, 2022

Little has changed since the office of the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report on mental health disparities two decades ago. Persisting structural racism is one of the key drivers of disparities but experts and advocates are hopeful for change.

By Naseem S. Miller

In January 2001, the office of the U.S. Surgeon General issued a report about mental health disparities affecting racial and ethnic minorities.

“Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity” was a supplement to the Surgeon General’s 1999 report on mental health, and it found that people of color had less access to mental health services, were less likely to receive those services when needed, often received poorer quality of care and were underrepresented in mental health research.

It said that the prevalence of mental illnesses among racial and ethnic minorities was similar to prevalence among white people, but also pointed out that most epidemiological studies were community household surveys and excluded vulnerable people who are homeless, incarcerated or in residential treatment centers, shelters and hospitals, where minorities tend to be overrepresented.

The report found that people of color had a greater burden of disability from mental illness — more likely to suffer from prolonged, chronic, and severely debilitating depression that affect their daily life — compared with whites because they often received less care and poorer quality care.

Read more here at The Journalist’s Resource.


Leave a Comment