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Black, Hispanic Children, Youth Rarely get Help for Mental Health Problems

April 14, 2017

 

This was published in the International Journal of Health Services, August 2016. The research was led by Dr. Lyndonna Marrast, who was a fellow at Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance when she initiated the study. The study’s co-authors are Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, professors at the City University of New York at Hunter College and lecturers at Harvard Medical School.  There's a tendency nationwide to attribute behaviors of Black or Hispanic children as willful or oppositional, rather than an invisible disability, learning difficulty, or stress.   suspend, 

 

''The under-provision of mental health care for minority children contrasts starkly with the high frequency of punitive sanctions that their behaviors elicit. Black children suffer excessive rates of school discipline such as suspensions and expulsions starting at preschool ages. Minority teens also have disproportionate contact with the juvenile justice system. "

Dr. Marrast commented: "It has become increasingly clear that minorities are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and underrepresented in the receipt of mental health care. We need to look closely at how equitably our health care institutions are serving all segments of society."

According to Dr. Woolhandler: "Minority kids don't get help when they're in trouble. Instead they get expelled or jailed. But punishing people for mental illness or addiction is both inhumane and ineffective. The lack of care for minority youth is the real crime."

 

You can read the complete article here Black, Hispanic children, Youth Rarely get Help for Mental Health Problems.

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