8 Chapter 13 Mental Health Issues Latino Community The Latino population has

8 chapter 13 mental health issues latino community

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Chapter 13 Mental Health Issues Latino Community The Latino population has been identified as a high-risk group for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Like the African American population, Latinos may seek treatment from the clergy rather than specialists. There is a small percentage of Latinos who are mental health professionals, so the comfort level is lower between the patient and provider. This is also tied to language barriers. Like the African Americans, they are overrepresented in the prison and juvenile justice system (NAMI, n.d.). Asian Americans The Asian American population is composed of 50 cultures with different languages and religious traditions. Asian Americans have the highest life expectancy of any ethnic group in the United States. Mental health disorders are lower among Asians than whites. They are much less likely to report mental health disorders to friends or medical professionals because they feel it is shameful and consider it a personal weakness. The suicide rates of elderly and young Asian American women are higher than women of other ethnicities. They will seek help for mental health disorders from alternative medicine providers; however, because they delay treatment for so long due to embarrassment, their problems are more severe. Like the Hispanic population, there may also be issues with language (APA, 2006). American Indian and Alaskan Natives Recent statistics indicate that American Indians and Alaskan Native youths use alcohol by 14 years old. They use marijuana and prescription drugs at twice the rate of the national average. Many of these youths believe their parents are permissive with this type of behavior, which encourages them. However, the federal Indian Health Service (IHS) has established a public health marketing campaign targeted to youths to resist drug and alcohol use. The IHS currently funds 11 centers nationwide that address mental health and substance abuse disorders by providing holistic health care, which is accepted by this culture. The IHS also uses telebehavioral health , which is a method of service delivery that broadens the availability to, quality of, and access to care across all behavioral health program areas. Using video conferencing technology, telebehavioral health services allow “real time” visits with a behavioral health specialist in another location who can assist in the evaluation, diagnosis, management, and treatment of health problems (IHS, 2013). It is important to recognize the differences in cultural beliefs and adapt the system to recognize these value systems. Language barriers may also be a reason why minority cultures do not access the system. Hiring mental health counselors and providers that are from the same culture would be a first step in encouraging more culturally diverse individuals to use the system.
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