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The Need

We established Cultivating & Embracing Change, Inc to address the need for mental health treatment and services in aforementioned communities.  We have identified that there are problems and our goal is to put services and resources in place to address them. 

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which is part of the United States National Library of Medicine, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, “Populations in racial-ethnic minority groups represent a considerable proportion of the entire population in the United States, yet they experience major mental health disparities: They often have less access to health care, and the available care is frequently of poorer quality. The goal of decreasing mental health disparities between minority groups is currently a national effort. The implementation of the ACA (Medicaid, Medicare, and other government safety-net programs) has contributed to a reduction in the odds of an individual with mental illness not being able to afford mental health care, lower barriers in accessing treatments, and a reduction in the delay in seeking help among African Americans, Latinos, and other minority populations—but the gap is not yet closed.

The problem is multifaceted. It includes a lack of community-based interventions, unequal access to evidence-based practices, and a lack of resources to fund health services. Overall, the literature shows that individuals in racial-ethnic minority groups also receive less-than-optimal care in the following ways. These individuals are 20%–50% less likely to initiate mental health service use and 40%–80% more likely to drop out of treatment prematurely. They are more likely to utilize psychiatric emergency services, to enter emergency treatment by means of law enforcement, and to be involuntarily hospitalized. Despite the utilization of emergency services and inpatient facilities, they are less likely to receive regular outpatient care after discharge. They are also less likely to experience symptom remission and less likely to improve their global functioning to return to work.

Studies suggest that culturally competent treatment regimens in populations with different sociocultural backgrounds may help address racial bias in diagnosis formulation and lead to more appropriate treatment recommendations. Culturally sensitive interventions (as an integration of awareness of culture, acquisition of knowledge about cultural aspects, and capacity to distinguish between culture and pathology) reduce the levels of perceived stigma, increase treatment seeking among individuals from racial-ethnic minority groups, increase treatment duration, and improve outcomes for individuals from these groups. For instance, the cultural formulation model, addressed in this issue by Jarvis and colleagues, aids practitioners in rendering accurate psychiatric diagnoses and formulating treatment across cultural boundaries. Mental health services that are culturally sensitive and consider the needs of individuals from racial-ethnic minority groups may increase service utilization in both the medical and the community settings.” Source:  National Center for Biotechnology Information

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