Latino Trends and Health Policy: From Walking on Eggshells to Commitment
This chapter provides an overview of major challenges faced by Latina/o clients in need of mental health services. First, an overview of the research on barriers to access (e.g., culture, language, medical insurance, etc.) and service utilization (e.g., poor service quality, improper screening and diagnosis) are presented. Important cultural issues related to Latina/os engaging in treatment are integrated, including issues of citizenship status, cultural values, stigma, and discriminating. Second, recommendations are offered for policy- and decision-makers to implement, re-design, and assess the effectiveness of integrated care with Latino populations. Special attention is given to the need for more clearly outlined, and enforced, policies that improve language accessibility and screening practices, support training, funding and development of culturally competent research, scholarships, and workforce. Medical providers, mental health professionals, and social workers, all bring significant areas of expertise, and must all be directly involved in the development, planning, and execution of policies, guidelines, and protocols. Infused throughout the chapter is the importance of advocating for policies that promote social justice, equity, and equality in all systems of care to help us move toward active commitment to culturally responsive treatment, research, and policies.
KeywordsLatina/o Mental health policy Service use Healthcare integration
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