Kansas City Star Columnist Looks at Hispanic Mental Health FindingsKansas City Star columnist Steve Penn on Monday examined a recent report that shows Hispanics "appear to be at a higher risk and may suffer disproportionately from several mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety and substance abuse" and "are the least likely to receive the treatment they need."
The report, "Closing the Mental Health Gap: Eliminating Disparities in Treatment for Latinos," was released by the Mattie Rhodes Center. The center offers a program called Visions With Hope 360, which provides assistance to Hispanic families who have children with developmental disabilities.
The study looked at more than 1,000 low-income Hispanics from three metropolitan areas in the U.S. It found that suicide is the third-leading cause of death among Hispanics ages 10 to 24 and that Hispanics who do seek care "often end up with ineffective assistance," Penn writes. He adds that access to care and lack of health insurance contribute to the problem.
Penn writes that the "study is a warning" and "should be required reading for corporations, foundations and politicians who support social services issues." He continues, "Too often it takes a public tragedy before the nation wakes up and realizes that steps could have been taken much sooner to prevent a manageable problem from boiling over," concluding, "Let's hope that doesn't happen this time" (Penn, Kansas City Star, 6/23).
The report is available online (.pdf). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.