In California, untreated mental health care needs are a common problem among Hispanic residents, according to a report released Monday by UC-Davis, the Fresno Bee reports.
The report gathered information from 550 Hispanic residents at community forums held in 13 cities.
The California Department of Mental Health collaborated with the Latino Mental Health Concilio to commission the report.
The report found that the most prevalent mental health conditions among Hispanic residents in the state, including:
- Depression; and
- Substance and alcohol misuse.
Researchers found that poor living conditions and other stresses contributed to an increased risk for anxiety and depression among Hispanic residents, especially among Hispanic youths.
The report identified several barriers to Hispanic residents seeking mental health care services include:
- Not enough health care providers who are fluent in Hispanics' native languages or who understand their cultures enough to provide appropriate aid;
- Lack of awareness of mental health care services available in communities;
- Lack of transportation to mental health care programs; and
- Stigma associated with mental illnesses (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 6/25).
The report also found that up to 75% of Hispanic residents who seek mental health care services do not return for a second appointment (Craft, Sacramento Bee, 6/26).
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola -- lead author of the study and director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at UC-Davis -- said that the report recommends establishing school-based programs that target Hispanic youths.
The report also recommends:
- Developing a culturally competent mental health work force; and
- Generating funding to help community organizations create mental health programs (Fresno Bee, 6/25).