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Identification of Effective Outreach Methods for Mental Health Services to the Hispanic Population : 

Identification of Effective Outreach Methods for Mental Health Services to the Hispanic Population By Nidia Canello

Slide 2: 

Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S. and constitute over 14% of the population. By the year 2030 it is projected that Latinos will total more than 73 million and constitute 20.1% of the population, making them the biggest racial/ethnic group in the country. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004)   Among Latinos with a mental disorder, less than one in 11 contacts a mental health specialist, while fewer than one in five contacts a general health care provider. (A Report of the Surgeon General, 2001)

Slide 3: 

Hispanics are the most rapidly growing minority in San Bernardino County (Census Bureau, 2006). The Census Bureau states that from 2000 to 2006 there was an increase of 241,955 Hispanics in San Bernardino County (2006). Among Latino immigrants with mental disorders, fewer than one in 20 uses services from a mental health specialist, while less than one in ten uses services from a general health care provider (A Report of the Surgeon General, 2001).

Slide 4: 

This study sought to address the identification of effective outreach methods for mental health services to the Hispanic community.

Slide 5: 

Henry Acosta, Deputy Director of the New Jersey Mental Health Institute reported, in a presentation for the National Alliance for Mental Illness, “According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 2005, 11.3% of Hispanic high school students (9th thru 12th grade) attempted suicide, the highest percentage of any group” (2006).

Slide 6: 

Hispanics have been linked to a higher rate of depression, teen pregnancy, binge drinking, heroin and cocaine use (Barona, 2003). In some cases, lack of needed mental help results in increased violence, including suicide and homicide (Lopez, Bergren, & Painter, 2008).

Slide 7: 

Repeated research efforts demonstrate that providing quality mental health services to Latinos would result in considerable savings of county, state, and federal funds (Aguilar-Gaxiola,Zelezny, Garcia, Edmondson, Alejo-Garcia &Vega, 2002) . .

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There are a large number of cases where Hispanics did not seek needed help at the preventive stage and ended up in emergency rooms (Barona & Barona, 2003). Acosta reports, “In many cases, jail and detention centers have become the front-line ‘providers’ of mental health services causing financial burden” (2006). Lost productivity also is costly to businesses and decreases tax revenues to city, state and federal governments

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As an important step to address the underutilization of services by Hispanics, the researcher sought to identify and quantify the barriers that prevent Latinos from seeking mental health. The study also quantified the effectiveness of different outreach approaches to outreach to the Hispanic population to seek mental health services when necessary.

Slide 10: 

The findings show the response of how Hispanic perceive the barriers in the following manner (from largest to least): Lack of money or insurance (62%), lack of information in Spanish (50.5%), don’t know where to get help (48.5%), don’t know when to get help (48%), distrust of government agencies (42.4%), don’t know what mental health is (32%) stigma if others find out (18%), belief that faith alone will take care of mental health issues (16.4%) and don’t know if mental help is useful (14%).

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The study found the preferred and trusted avenues to outreach them. Below is the percentage response from most trusted to least: A family doctor (89%), a social worker (71%), a friend (64%), a church leader (60.2%), a program volunteer (37.4%), a popular T.V. actor (15%) and a popular disc jockey (12.2%).

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The evidence gathered suggest that an effective outreach approach needs to involve family doctors (specially from the various Hispanic clinics), social workers and church leaders. The information needs to be disseminated in Spanish (as well as English) and it needs to provide clear and concise information on the following: What is mental health Why it is important and useful to seek help When to get help Where to get low cost help Assurance of confidentiality that the information will not be shared with other government agencies

References : 

References Acosta, H. (2006). The Current Status of Latino Mental Health in the United States [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:bgIrXr bieQEJ:www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/Upcoming_Events/Convention/2006_Highlights/Presentations4/MAC_Worksop_2P-Acosta_Fri.ppt+the+current+status+of+latino+mental+health+in+the+united+states&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&lr=lang_en&client=firefox-a Barona, A., & Santos de Barona, M. (2003). Recommendations for the psychological treatment of Latino/Hispanics populations. In Council of National Psychological Associations for the advancement of ethnic Minority Interests (Ed.). Psychological treatment of ethnic minority populations (pp. 19-23). Washington, D.C.: Association of Black Psychologists. Lopez, Rn, Ms, Ilcsn, C., Bergren, Dns, Rn, Ncsn, Ilcsn, Fnasn, M., & Painter, Aprn, Bc, S. (2008). Latino Disparities in Child Mental Health Services. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 21(3), 137-145. U.S. Census Bureau. (2006) Ethnicity and Ancestry Branch Population Division US Census Bureau: Hispanics in the United States. Retrieved October 9, 2008 from http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hispanic/files/Internet_Hispanic_in_US_2006.pdf