Mental Health Literacy: a Critical Target for Narrowing Racial Disparities in Behavioral Health

R. R. Tambling, C. D’Aniello, B. S. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

One of the most persistent and troubling health disparities is the underutilization of mental health services, particularly for depression and anxiety, commonly occurring behavioral health concerns. The gap between individuals who need mental health care and those who receive care is large, and identified barriers to treatment include poor mental health and insurance literacy, as well as stigmatizing attitudes toward mental health disorders. The present study presents the results of an inquiry into the mental health literacy, insurance literacy, internalized stigma, and mental health symptoms. Results suggest that mental health literacy is poor and associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, stress, internalized stigma, and caregiver burden. Implications of poor mental health literacy, as well as demographic disparities in literacy, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Behavioral health disparities
  • Health insurance literacy
  • Internalized stigma
  • Mental health literacy
  • Mental illness

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