Mental Health Services
Barriers to Mental Health Services Among Minority Groups
Although there have been many strides made in the advancement and efficiency of mental health services, their continued to be a pervasive set of barriers limiting the level of success in assisting those members of minority groups that have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Therefore social work practitioners must be at the forefront and exert tremendous effort to alleviate or minimize the effects of mental disorders and in every way possible seek out and eliminate every barrier that hinders the treatment of mental illness. Identifying the various types of barriers to mental illness treatment is a daunting task, but is essential in the continued improvement of attitudes, beliefs, techniques, policies, interventions, funding, quality of service, knowledge, and other areas that promote overall health and well being for those minority individuals diagnosed with a mental illness and they’re caregivers.
Defining Mental Health
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (World Health Organization, 2007)
Mental health is equally as important to what it means to be in “good health” as physical health. According to the definition presented above by the World Health Organization (WHO), one could be inclined to believe that no individual can truly be in good health without being mentally and physically healthy. The WHO defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”. Individuals that are not viewed as being able to meet these criteria must then be considered to be afflicted with the some form of mental illness. In a concerted effort to treat and alleviate the ill effects of mental illness on the lives...