Event Title

Assessing the Need for Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Minorities in Kent County

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

2-4-2014 3:30 PM

Description

A needs assessment of young adult minority males in Kent County was done from the perspective of agency staff and services providers. Twenty face-to-face, semi-structured interviews that took 30-45 min to complete were done at social service agencies, including agencies that serve the homeless, those with mental illness, and academic institutions. This diverse group of service providers also included individuals working in the criminal justice and other fields. The sampled population of African American and Hispanic males has a much higher percentage of being sent to prison often due to an illicit or prescriptions drug use charges and convictions compared to their Caucasian counterparts according to the “Human Rights Watch in 2000”. Service providers identified 5 major themes – culture, reduced stigma, employment, community, and identity - that are of importance when assisting minority males in mental health and substance abuse. Discussion included why culture is of such importance in treating mental health and substance abuse and both recent and older history seem to be factors. Most service providers felt that the need for mental health and substance abuse services can be avoided by the client if certain tenants are in place within the community and family and individuals are in place. Implications of progress with these needs include less crime, more employment and education within this population.

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Apr 2nd, 3:30 PM

Assessing the Need for Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Minorities in Kent County

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

A needs assessment of young adult minority males in Kent County was done from the perspective of agency staff and services providers. Twenty face-to-face, semi-structured interviews that took 30-45 min to complete were done at social service agencies, including agencies that serve the homeless, those with mental illness, and academic institutions. This diverse group of service providers also included individuals working in the criminal justice and other fields. The sampled population of African American and Hispanic males has a much higher percentage of being sent to prison often due to an illicit or prescriptions drug use charges and convictions compared to their Caucasian counterparts according to the “Human Rights Watch in 2000”. Service providers identified 5 major themes – culture, reduced stigma, employment, community, and identity - that are of importance when assisting minority males in mental health and substance abuse. Discussion included why culture is of such importance in treating mental health and substance abuse and both recent and older history seem to be factors. Most service providers felt that the need for mental health and substance abuse services can be avoided by the client if certain tenants are in place within the community and family and individuals are in place. Implications of progress with these needs include less crime, more employment and education within this population.