Original Paper

Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 57-74

Unmet Needs for Mental Health Services for Latino Older Adults: Perspectives from Consumers, Family Members, Advocates, and Service Providers

  • Concepción BarrioAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, University of Southern California Email author 
  • , Lawrence A. PalinkasAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, University of Southern California
  • , Ann-Marie YamadaAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, University of Southern California
  • , Dahlia FuentesAffiliated withCommunity Mental Health Research Liaison, University of CaliforniaAdult and Older Adult Mental Health Services, County of San Diego
  • , Viviana CriadoAffiliated withAdult and Older Adult Mental Health Services, County of San Diego
  • , Piedad GarciaAffiliated withAdult and Older Adult Mental Health Services, County of San Diego
  • , Dilip V. JesteAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry & Neurosciences, University of CaliforniaVA San Diego Healthcare System

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Abstract

This study qualitatively assessed the need for mental health services among Latino older adults in San Diego, California. The primary mental health issue was depression. Primary organizational barriers to accessing services were language and cultural barriers secondary to a lack of translators, dearth of information on available services, and scarcity of providers representative of the Latino community. Other challenges included a lack of transportation and housing, and the need for socialization and social support. Latino older adults experienced their unmet needs in ways associated with their cultural background and minority status. Age- and culturally-appropriate services are needed to overcome these barriers.

Keywords

Hispanic Qualitative methods Health services research Aging Mental illness Needs assessment Mental health utilization