The article by Gomez (2015) focuses on themes of micro-aggressions that the African-Americans face in the as they strive to get mental health services. These microaggressions are termed to include interpersonal and environmental aspects that cause mental health disparities as the dominant culture imposes discrimination on the minority culture (the African-Americans). Specifically, the article talks of micro-insults, micro-assaults, and microinvalidations (Gomez, 2015).
Notably, Gomez (2015) defines mental health disparity as inequity in treatment opportunities which are changeable by the health care providers. McGuire and Miranda (2008) also define disparity in relation to the issues that arise from inequality in the delivery of treatment services where they give an example of ethnic or racial differences. In this case, the people that hold bigoted views against the African-Americans perpetuate micro-aggressive acts which cause both conscious and subconscious effects on the victims. While micro-assaults cause conscious degradations micro-invalidations and micro-insults cause subconscious effects in which case even the perpetrators lack the notion that they are offensive.
Conner (2010) and Bailey et al. (2011) both stress in their research that depression is a major result of mental health disparity that affects the African-American population. Similarly, Gomez (2015) points out that racial discrimination is normally associated with high levels of depression. Additionally, psychological distress, stress, anxiety, and other health-related outcomes are major results of mental health disparity within the considered population (Gomez, 2015; Conner, 2010 & Bailey et al., 2011).
All through the article, Gomez (2015) acknowledges the prevalence of micro-aggressions within the American society, identifies the causes and effects that result from such health disparities. Hence, Gomez (2015) proposes that the disparity can be mitigated by ensuring a cultural and professional competency whereby: there is diversity in the staffing processes; there is the establishment of equality advocacy programs in society, professional and education system; and initiation of psychology training programs which are hinged on historical and cultural education.
Bailey, R., K., Patel, M., Barker, N., C., Ali, S., and Jabeen, S. (2011). Major Depressive Disorder in the African American Population. Journal of the National Medical Association, 103(7), 548-557.
Connera, K., O., Leeb, B., Mayersb, V., Robinsonc, D., Reynolds C., F., Albertd, S., and Brown, C. (2010). Attitudes and beliefs about mental health among African American older adults suffering from depression. Journal of Aging Studies, 24(4), 266277. doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2010.05.007.
Gomez, J. M. (2015). Microaggressions and the Enduring Mental Health Disparity: Black Americans at Risk for Institutional Betrayal. Journal of Black Psychology, 41(2), 121-143. DOI: 10.1177/0095798413514608
McGuire, T., G., and Miranda, J. (2008). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Care: Evidence and Policy Implications. Health Affiliation (Millwood), 27(2), 393403. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.27.2.393.
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