Read several pieces related to your writing project. Report on trends you notice. What do all of these pieces discuss similarly? What is a possible point of disagreement? Where does your writing project fit into this conversation?
All the pieces I have read surrounding the topic of mental health in minorities hold relatively the same information. They discuss higher rates of suicidal thoughts, the treatment issues, long wait times, difficulty finding specialists, quality of care and issues with access and insurance in minority groups. Most of these websites start off the same, with something like
“Racial/ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual minorities often suffer from poor mental health outcomes due to multiple factors including inaccessibility of high quality mental health care services, cultural stigma surrounding mental health care, discrimination, and overall lack of awareness about mental health.”
in the beginning before they even get into the statistics and trends. They make it a point to mention that it is more than a racial disparity which I think is important because people with mental health issues may have more than one disparity to deal with. it is very interesting to see the differences for gender disparities in mental health.
I noticed that only around half of the websites I browsed on actually had next steps and solutions to try and get these disparities to become smaller. Most of these solutions were to encourage people to speak out more and educate each other but I do not think that alone is enough. One website wrote “Research is necessary to gain information about prevention, access, service delivery and quality-of-care. And the scary thing is: This report came out in 1999 and its findings still hold true today 18 years later—research and information about minority mental health is still severely lacking,” so why is not research offered as one of the solutions? (it was put in a different section after a quote “ about the lack of large-scale research that applies specifically to minority populations.”)
A possible point of disagreement would be that in a way the person with mental health issues make it harder for themselves to go. They begin to believe what their parents or people in their household tells them, they will not go out of their way to seek help until much later in life. In a lot of minority households you are told to deal with things on your own or that if you have a roof over your head and food you should not have any problems. In a lot of minority households parents will not educate themselves or their children on the importance of mental health, it is just swept under the rug and forgotten about. People with mental health problems need someone to encourage them to seek help, typically they will not go on their own accord. Another thing worth mentioning is how people take on their families ideals and beliefs without much thought which may keep the cycle of sweeping mental health away to keep going.
If poverty plays a role in mental health issues then why is it that there are not better programs put in place to help people who need it the most? I do not understand why anyone would say mental health treatment does not work, what purpose does that serve? In the end you only hurt the person who needs treatment. Where did that stigma even come from? Is it because treatment would be too expensive?
Another disagreement could be that minority parents could prevent their child from needing to seek help by actually listening to them and their feelings as well as making them know that they are not alone. Maybe less minority children would even need help to begin with if they had a stronger support system in place.
My writing project fits into this conversation because it is about my own struggles with mental health and trying to understand who I am. Coming from a hispanic family, I definitely see trends and know other people who come from minority families that share the same experiences as me. Interpreting these disparities and connecting them to my personal life as well as people around me will help me with my autoethnography.