Minority Mental Health Month – Research to Address Disparities

June is National Minority Mental Awareness Health Month, sponsored by HHS’ Office of Minority Health. The observances bring attention to disparities in mental health diagnosis and care among racial and ethnic minority groups in the US. Research has shown that these groups are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care. Research from the NIDILRR community has worked to address disparities in access to care and supports for people with mental health conditions from these minority groups in the areas of education, employment, and community participation.

Here are three of the most recent NIDILRR-funded projects in this area:

Integrated Program to Improve Competitive Employment in Dually Diagnosed Clients (90IF0085) at Howard University examined whether the Individual Placement and Support model could lead to successful outcomes for people with a diagnosis of both psychiatric disability and substance use disorder, particularly those from the African American community. Learn more about this project.

Project Work Opportunity Through Resource and Capacity Building (WORC): Transition Age African American Youth with Emotional, Intellectual, and Behavioral Disabilities (90IF0062) at Southern University and A&M College examined methods and procedures that maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of African Americans with emotional, intellectual, and behavioral disabilities. Learn more about this project and see abstracts from recent publications.

Building Knowledge and Capacity in the Rehabilitation and Recovery of African Americans Suffering from Severe Mental Illness: The Dartmouth-Howard Collaboration (H133A080063) at Dartmouth College examined the broad service experience of African Americans in psychiatric rehabilitation. The first project assessed the influence on rehabilitation of living in independent housing units in small, relationship-centered buildings that accommodate other people in recovery from mental illness. The second project examined the process of rehabilitation for African Americans with a co-occurring severe mental illness and substance-use disorder. The final project was a study of the service experience of African Americans in supported employment.  Learn more about this project and see abstracts from recent publications.

These are just a few NIDILRR grantees exploring research in mental health among minority communities, including minorities with other disabilities. NARIC’s collection contains hundreds of abstracts of research publications in this area, both from NIDILRR grantees and the greater research community, including international research.

Explore NIDILRR-funded publications in mental health and psychiatric and behavioral disorders (PDF).

Browse through abstracts from the NARIC collection, including research from outside the United States. For these searches, minority racial and ethnic groups include African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, immigrants, and refugees

Other resources in the community:

Check out these articles from the National Institute of Mental Health’s Science Update collection: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/science-news-about-diversity-and-ethnic-groups.shtml

Getting Involved with Minority Mental Health from the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI): https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/July-2018/Getting-Involved-with-Minority-Mental-Health

NARIC’s information specialists are available Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm ET to assist researchers, health professionals, and people with and without disabilities to find research, resources, and assistance online and in the community. Please be in touch if we can help connect you to the resources you need.

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