University of Michigan to Begin Research on Minority Mental Health
Beginning in February, researchers at the University of Michigan will lead the most "comprehensive" study ever conducted of African-American mental health, reports the Detroit Free Press. The National Institute of Mental Health announced at a Nov. 30 press conference that it will provide an $8 million dollar grant to fund the study. Noting his "surpris[e]" at the lack of information on minority health, NIMH Director Dr. Steven Hyman said, "it's critical that people understand the differences that race and class create," adding, "Scientists just assumed that if they studied white populations, they could make generalizations about the whole population. Yet we know in many diseases there are different outcomes for different people based on race." The study, to be carried out as part of a nationwide effort to explore the mental health of minority groups, will interview 9,000 African Americans nationwide in order to learn the number of racial and ethnic minorities with depression and the likelihood they will receive treatment. The new study also will examine how mental health is affected by physical well-being, economic factors, family, social and religious lives. Initial results are expected in early 2002 (Arellano, Detroit Free Press, 12/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.