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Blacks not likely to seek mental health help


Young adult blacks are much less likely to seek out mental health supports than their white counterparts. This is true especially for blacks with higher levels of education.

“Past research has indicated people with higher education levels are more likely to seek out and receive mental health services. While that may be true for whites, it appears the opposite is true for young adult blacks,” said study author Clifford L. Broman, Phd, Michigan State University.

Hurdles to using mental health services include stigma, lack of knowledge, trust and cultural understanding. Broman explained that was according to previous research done with focus groups.

The study culled data from a 1994-1995 study including 6,504 adolescents aged 13 to 18 and a second study with data collected in 2001 of 4881 people aged 18 to 26.

They also discovered that while whites will readily see mental health professionals if they have seen them in the past, blacks do not. Past treatment does not open the door to future treatment. In fact, many black reported lower quality of care than whites and they also reported unpleasant experience and unfavorable attitudes from the care givers. “Practitioners need to address the concerns of black client in a culturally sensitive and appropriate manner, and during exit interviews, they should ask what is appropriate and what didn’t work,” Broman advised.

Interestingly, a diagnosis of depression will bring blacks to the doctor. Young black adults diagnosed with the mental health condition are 20 time more likely to use services than those without.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Psychological Services

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