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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Books, Articles and Research

Community-Defined Solutions for Latino Mental Health Disparities
This report describes research done by the Latino Strategic Planning Workgroup, which was developed and led by the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, with funding from the California Department of Mental Health. The workgroup was part of the California Reducing Disparities Project, which focused not only on Latinos but also on African Americans; Asian/Pacific Islanders; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people; and Native Americans. For the research described in this report, groups of Latinos from around California were invited to meetings where they were asked to identify barriers to mental health care for Latinos, ways to overcome these barriers, and strategies for reducing mental health disparities among Latinos in the future. The report describes findings from the groups and strategies the groups developed. It includes examples of programs and practices that group participants identified as promising for Latino people in California, which could provide models for programs for Latinos around the United States in the future.

Integrated Care for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities: A Blueprint for Action; Consensus Statements and Recommendations
In this publication from January 2012, authors observe that in the United States there is a growing acknowledgment of disparities in health care in some communities relative to others, and that more people are taking action to remedy these disparities. Authors note that these trends are particularly relevant to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, who, like other underserved populations, often face a larger array of healthcare inadequacies than the general population. These inadequacies are compounded by limited English proficiency and unique cultural considerations. The publication outlines discussions within the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association and proceedings from a 2011 national consensus meeting regarding steps that need to be taken to help alleviate healthcare system shortcomings and implement better services alongside government initiatives to improve health care for all.

Building Partnerships: Conversations with the Hmong about Mental Health Needs and Community Strengths
This resource from the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities discusses mental health needs and unique requirements that providers and policymakers need to address to ensure that healthcare systems best address the needs of Hmong communities in the United States, many of which were formed by refugees who fled Southeast Asia starting in 1975 as a result of the Vietnam War or during a second wave of immigration starting in 2004. This publication outlines findings from a project that engaged a spectrum of underserved populations in California to gain community perspectives as to what the mental health system could do to more effectively reach out to Hmong people in the United States and their communities. For these communities, these issues revolve around severe social disadvantages as a result of their resettlement in a completely new culture and society. These disadvantages include low levels of education, high poverty rates, and low English proficiency. The publication includes direct quotes and considerations gathered from project participants.

Building Partnerships: Conversations with Native Americans about Mental Health Needs and Community Strengths
Produced by the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, this report discusses mental health needs and unique cultural considerations that providers and policymakers need to address to ensure that healthcare systems can more effectively serve Native American populations. Based on findings from a California project to engage underserved populations, the greatest concerns for Native Americans were the loss of their cultural roots, violence, substance use, depression, and suicide. The publication includes direct quotes and considerations gathered from project participants.

Building Partnerships: Conversations with African Americans about Mental Health Needs and Community Strengths
This report produced by the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities discusses mental health concerns and unique requirements that providers and policymakers need to address to ensure that healthcare systems can better serve African American communities. Researchers partnered with agencies, individuals, and advocates within the African American community to give them an opportunity to express their view of what is needed in their community with the goal of helping counties develop their plans and programs for the prevention of mental disorders. The greatest concerns voiced revolved around experiences of violence, family disruption, substance use, suicide, and homelessness.

Building a Community-Academic Partnership: Implementing a Community-Based Trial of Telephone Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Rural Latinos
This paper discusses the shortage of evidence-based practices for ethnic minorities within community healthcare systems and the reasons for this shortage. It proposes that partnerships be built between researchers and community practitioners to help run clinical trials and further develop and implement culturally relevant programs. The paper also reports on the process involved in building such partnerships, as well as the results of a pilot test implemented by a community-academic partnership. In this randomized clinical trial, cognitive behavioral therapy by telephone was adapted to serve a primarily Spanish-speaking patient base. The development and outcomes of the program are presented.

American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health: Diverse Perspectives on Enduring Disparities
This review provides an overview of the state of mental health and substance use issues within the American Indian and Alaska Native populations in the United States. Specifically, the review discusses the disproportionate burden of substance use disorders, posttraumatic stress, violence, and suicide that these populations face and the disparities in health services, which are often underfunded and understaffed for these populations, relative to other U.S. groups. The increasing interest in research on these issues is discussed, along with the growing initiative within these populations to advocate for appropriate alternatives that are more culturally relevant.

Sustainable development helps us to flourish
This article examines the connection between sustainable environmental practices and positive mental health, suggesting that efforts to improve conditions for our planet have the potential to also improve mental health throughout society. The author explores ways the natural environment is connected to psychological wellness, emphasizing ways it serves one's needs, not only for food and water, but also for one's spiritual and emotional wellness. In the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand's recognition of these described connections, some common goals for their work with organizations are listed: integrating social, cultural, economic, and environmental goals; regenerating natural and social capital; affirming the value of local communities; valuing nature intrinsically; and promoting non-material sources of happiness.

Victorious Black Women brings hope, provides hope to women of color
This Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services (P.E.E.R.S.) article describes the efforts of an Oakland, CA-based organization: Victorious Black Women. Victorious Black Women operates on the premise that the road to healing for black women is linked to the sharing of stories with one another. This article discusses Victorious Black Women's overall approach to healing and recovery for women of color and the personal experiences of their Co-Founder, Renee Harris, who describes how someone reaching out to her meant a huge step in her own recovery journey. In recognizing the influence of culture on self-expression and ways of coping with stress, this organization also works to educate the community about culturally competent mental health services to help women of color.

Native American tribal communities provide hope for overcoming historical trauma
This Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services (P.E.E.R.S.) article discusses the historical trauma experienced by many Native American tribal communities and the hope for overcoming it. Suicide, infant mortality, and unemployment rates of Native American tribal communities are among the highest in the country. The historical trauma intervention model described in this article takes an approach to healing that includes four main components: confronting the trauma, understanding the trauma, releasing the pain, and transcending the trauma.

WHO European review of social determinants of health and the health divide
This article discusses the disparities in health that still exist between and within countries in the European region. Specifically, the article examines a review of inequities in health between and within countries across the WHO European region. The authors explore ongoing research that has contributed to an understanding of social causes of these inequities, and they go on to describe policies that will help in reducing the current health divide.

Mental-health advocate is also a symbol of recovery
Newly elected Board President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Keris Myrick, shares her story of recovery and continued efforts to educate others on recovery and discrimination issues as they relate to mental disorders. In this article she describes a negative experience of being locked in an emergency room psychiatric area while awaiting services, how many individuals of color receive mental health services that oftentimes involve a police car and handcuffs, and ways she has learned to cope with her symptoms while also striving to make a difference for others.

Adaptation guidelines for serving Latino children and families affected by trauma
The adaptation guidelines discussed in this publication highlight key factors that should be addressed when adapting mental health practices to be used in working with Latino/Hispanic individuals impacted by trauma. Focus groups composed of experts in various fields including child trauma research, clinical practice, and cultural diversity discussed a number of important areas to consider while supporting Latino/Hispanic children and families. Some of the key areas identified are cultural values, immigration, child welfare, communication and linguistic competence, and diversity among Latinos.

Integrated care for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities: A blueprint for action; Consensus statements and recommendations
This report covers a meeting in August 2011 of 40 stakeholders committed to enhancing the lives of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. The stakeholders met to discuss how to create a national agenda to review benefits of integrated care for AANHPIs. The group included providers, consumers, policy makers, and healthcare administrators in primary health care, integrated care, mental health, substance use, and disabilities. The Blueprint for Action discusses the need for integrated care to have a holistic, public health approach that works across the life span, as well as the need to have research and data that include AANHPIs. The blueprint includes recommendations to inform both governmental and non-governmental partners of culturally and linguistically responsive approaches and models of care.

Darryl Strawberry opens up: Baseball legend discusses overcoming depression
In this article Darryl Strawberry shares some of his life experiences as a professional baseball player, what it was like growing up in a home with an abusive father, and how he dealt with his depression and substance use as an African-American man. Strawberry discusses the common misconceptions regarding mental and substance use disorders in the African-American community and makes the point that depression does not discriminate. Through his memoir Straw: Finding My Way, he hopes to inspire all people experiencing mental health challenges to get help.

America's plague of incarceration: A plague of prisons; the epidemiology of mass incarceration in America
This review of Ernest Drucker's book A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America discusses the theme of Drucker's book, which is the significant individual and societal damage that has resulted from treating drug use as a criminal problem rather than as a public health crisis. The review also covers Drucker's recommendations for remedying this situation. Drucker discusses the need for prevention strategies including drug treatment, education, and job training; and concrete community supports to allow for reintegration upon release from prison. He also notes the need for drug law reforms and addressing of targeting of minorities and impoverished communities by law enforcement.

Homelessness, poverty and social exclusion in the United States and Europe
This paper examines high rates of homelessness across different nations in the context of various forms of social exclusion: income, wealth, housing, and incarceration. The author goes on to explain the impact that discrimination and societal choices have on homelessness across societies and identifies racial minorities and individuals with mental disorders as having the highest rates of homelessness everywhere.

Tenemos Voz National Latino Consumer Network
This network is comprised of Latinos with mental and substance use disorders who work to promote holistic approaches to health and wellness in recovery through equal access to treatment. The network engages in advocacy to influence policy, eliminate disparities, and improve treatment outcomes. It also provides educational and networking opportunities and support for consumer/survivors.

The Community Defined Evidence Project (CDEP)
This project is a collaborative effort between the National Latino Behavioral Health Association (NLBHA) and National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) to advance understanding of effective community-based practices for Latinos. The project plans to develop an evidence base that uses key cultural and community indicators and to use this information to influence research, evaluation, policymakers, and funders to support efforts to implement and use community-based practices to reduce disparities and improve both access and quality of care for Latinos..

Evidence-based practices and multicultural mental health
Current trends in the behavioral health field show a significant increase in the promotion of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and requirement that they be incorporated into health and behavioral health care services. This emphasis reflects efforts to increase quality and accountability in services provided. This article not only addresses the use of EBPs and what it means for health and behavioral health services but also how they relate to better care for multicultural populations. Some key factors discussed include the history of EBPs, cultural competence and adaptations of EBPs, and recommendations for policy.

Beyond the storms: Reflections on personal recovery in Devon
This book is a collection of personal stories of recovery shared by individuals who have experienced behavioral health problems and emotional distress. As individuals share their journeys through recovery they describe the despair and difficulty they were confronted with, as well as the hope, endurance, triumph, and determination associated with the recovery process. This book also describes techniques and makes suggestions that readers can use to manage their own recovery such as, developing a WRAP plan, acknowledging small achievements, and taking personal responsibility.

Social capital and psychiatry: Review of the literature.
This article explores social capital as it relates to mental health. The writers provide a history and several definitions for social capital, discuss the available literature on social capital's relationship with mental health, and conclude with recommendations for further exploring this relationship. The writers also discuss how clinicians and mental health systems may benefit from an increased understanding of social capital.

Poverty and social exclusion in the WHO European Region: Health systems respond
This report from the World Health Organization includes studies from several countries, each examining the relationship between poverty and health, including mental health. The report includes information about how this relationship influences access to care and provides suggestions for addressing the needs of people experiencing poverty or social exclusion.

Within our reach: Ending the mental health crisis
This book, written by former first lady Rosalynn Carter with Susan Golant and Kathryn Cade, offers an assessment of the current state of mental health. The book focuses on both the progress Mrs. Carter has seen during her 35 years of advocacy and the serious issues that must still be addressed before the mental health system can adequately meet the needs of people with mental health problems.

Shunned: Discrimination against people with mental illness
Thornicroft's book explores how negative perceptions affect the lives of people with mental health problems.

More us than them: positive depictions of mental illness on Australian television news
This 2007 study reviewed television news coverage of mental health issues, including self-depictions from people with mental health problems and views expressed by mental health experts and politicians. Investigators conducted a broad-ranging content and frame analysis of mental health problems as depicted in the Australian television news media. The study supports the importance of involving people with histories of mental health problems in news coverage.

Determinants of minority mental health and wellness
This compilation of articles examines social, cultural, and economic factors that impact the mental wellness of people of color in America.

Firewalkers: Madness, Beauty & Mystery
VOCAL Virginia used grant funding from SAMHSA's Campaign for Mental Health Recovery to produce a living anthology of stories of people who have experienced the turbulence of a mental health crisis. A guide to radically rethinking mental health, Firewalkers redefines mental illness as "a journey of emotional turbulence, crazy blessings, ecstatic visions, and mad gifts."

Towards social inclusion in mental health?
This article explores the uses of the terms "social exclusion" and "social inclusion" in a mental health context. Focusing on social inclusion as a remedy for the ills of social exclusion, this article discusses implications for contemporary mental health policy, practice, and research and concludes that a better theoretical understanding of causal mechanisms is needed to enable the development of more socially inclusive mental health services.

Compeer friends: A qualitative study of a volunteer friendship programme for people with serious mental illness
This study explored the benefits and drawbacks of an intentional friendship programme (Compeer, Inc), which develops new social relationships for people with serious mental illness by matching them in one-to-one relationships with community volunteers for weekly social activities.

SESAMI study of employment support for people with severe mental health problems: 12-month outcomes
In the context of UK policy to promote employment for people with disability as a means to greater social inclusion, this study investigated how people with severe mental health problems fare in existing supported employment agencies. The aim of the study was to identify factors associated with successful placement in work and to test the impact of working on psychological well-being in this group.

Patient ethnicity and perceptions of families and friends regarding depression treatment
Black Americans are less likely than white Americans to seek professional treatment for depression. Whether treatment recommendations are sought and implemented by patients will be influenced by the role families and friends play in diagnostic acceptance and treatment decisions. Researchers investigated the association of ethnicity with the perceived need for treatment of depression by family and friends of older primary care patients.

Discrimination, historical loss and enculturation: Culturally specific risk and resiliency factors for alcohol abuse among American Indians
This report investigates the effects of discrimination, historical loss and enculturation on meeting diagnostic criteria for 12-month alcohol abuse among American Indians who share a common culture in the upper Midwest.

The influence of culture on immigrant women's mental health care experiences from the perspectives of health care providers
In this article, the authors suggest that although cultural knowledge and practices influence immigrant women's coping choices and strategies, awareness of social and economic differences among diverse groups of immigrant women is necessary to improve the accessibility of mental health care for immigrant women.

Use of health care services for psychological distress by immigrants in an urban multicultural milieu
This article finds that research in the United States tends to attribute low rates of use of mental health services by immigrants to economic barriers. The author's purpose of the study was to examine this issue in the context of Canada's universal health care system.

Demystifying Mental Illness in Any Language
This article explores the challenges of bringing mental health care to some immigrant communities. , Challenges include not only language barriers, but also negative attitudes and misconceptions about mental health issues and seeking treatment for these issues specific to particular communities. This article looks at providing mental health care across cultures by building trust in communities and normalizing the experience of treatment.

No comfort in the rural south: Women living depressed
An article discussing the opportunities for research and strategy that exist for providing mental health services to women in a rural area.

Church-based support groups for African American families coping with mental illness: Outreach and outcomes
This study examined the outreach efforts used to provide information about support groups to congregants as well as the participation outcomes reported by families who attended support group meetings.

Social network's healing power is borne out in poorer nations
This article describes the findings of a 3-decade-long study by the World Health Organization (WHO) which found that mental health consumers in poorer countries have higher rates of recovering from schizophrenia. Key findings described explore the role that family support, culture, and other social networks have on individuals with schizophrenia. This article discusses the differences in the roles of doctors, the invaluable role of families, and the importance of integrating social and cultural supports with medicine to achieve more positive outcomes.

Mental health: culture, race, and ethnicity: A supplement to Mental health: A report of the Surgeon General
This report is a supplement to the first ever Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health, Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. This supplement covers the four most recognized racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States and the barriers to services that are encountered by persons of certain social and cultural groups.

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.