It is Time for Public Health to Act on its Value and ensure the mental health of the minority communities is well captured in health care settings. The minority community experiences poor mental health due to various factors: their lack of easy accessibility to high-quality care related to their mental health, discrimination, stigma surrounding mental health, and lack of adequate awareness in relation to mental health (Stangl et al., 2019). As evident from the report given by the national healthcare quality and disparities, the minority communities are not yet lucky in terms of access to mental health services. The whites are granted access to mental health services compared to other racial and ethnic minorities who are given poor mental health services. Given Stangl et al.’s (2019) assertions, this paper highlights why minority communities lag behind in mental health services and further explores some of the solutions to this problem.
Lack of funds and insurance cover is one reason why minority communities cannot access quality mental health services. For example, it is indicated that the minority communities lack sufficient coverage of health insurance which cannot be afforded because of the co-payments and high deductibles that make it difficult for it to be afforded. The mental health system is mainly weighted heavily towards the cultural norms and values of the non-minorities causing there to be stigmatization at very high levels among the minority population (Williams, 2018). Also, the minority communities believe that mental health treatment is not effective, which is caused by the lack of availability of mental health care.
The mental health situation among the minority communities can be resolved through the encouragement of the mental health organizations to create room and include the minorities on the board of directors to assist in the discussions of mental health issues among the minorities. The federal and local legislators have a role to play in helping towards improving access towards the getting of mental healthcare services of high quality amongst the minority communities (Al-Rousan et al., 2017). Also, understanding what the minority communities might be facing is needed rather than generalizing mental health services needs.
Although giving quality mental healthcare among the minority communities is considered challenging, there are efforts that the specific stakeholders in health care can take for the right steps to be made for quality care and easy access for everyone concerning mental healthcare. However, minority communities compared to the whites from various studies show lower or slightly equivalent mental disorders that may affect them. For example, blacks and Hispanics have a lower risk of developing a psychiatric disorder in their lifetime (Kawaii-Bogue et al., 2017). However, to create inner healing amongst the minority communities, it is essential to reorganize that every individual has a unique blend of experiences they have had in their past. Thus, healthy dynamic interactions should be encouraged for an opportunity to be created for people to be educated about mental healthcare despite the different ethnicities and races.
How my Op-Ed aligns with the public health history are, it uses the integration of the most appropriate available evidence giving a direction to health policy decision making. Evidence is essential, especially with opinion-driven writing in public health, because it helps with providing a productive workforce with higher quality information on the best practices that should be followed to solve the issue of mental health among minorities (Kawaii-Bogue et al., 2017). The communication strategy that I utilized to convince readers about my ideas and knowledge is to acknowledge my share of the problem cause to satisfy a strategic goal. The accessibility and availability of the relevant evidence were readily available, which influenced my final product, which was applicable towards solving the problem.
In my learning process and completion of my assignment, what was challenging was finding a quick fix since the question of mental health among the minority has been considered a problem for a long time. More efforts need to be made to accept minority groups who are affected by mental health issues. What I learnt from completing the assignment that can change my perception in future career opportunities is that there is a gap in public health to deal with mental health issues, especially among the minority community.
Al-Rousan, T., Rubenstein, L., Sieleni, B., Deol, H., & Wallace, R. B. (2017). Inside the nation’s largest mental health institution: A prevalence study in a state prison system. BMC public health, 17(1), 1-9.
Kawaii-Bogue, B., Williams, N. J., & MacNear, K. (2017). Mental health care access and treatment utilization in African American communities: An integrative care framework. Best Practices in Mental Health, 13(2), 11-29.
Stangl, A. L., Earnshaw, V. A., Logie, C. H., van Brakel, W., Simbayi, L. C., Barré, I., & Dovidio, J. F. (2019). The Health Stigma and Discrimination Framework: a global, crosscutting framework to inform research, intervention development, and policy on health-related stigmas. BMC medicine, 17(1), 1-13.
Williams, D. R. (2018). Stress and the mental health of populations of color: Advancing our understanding of race-related stressors. Journal of health and social behavior, 59(4), 466- 485.