Date: 18 Jun 2014

Latinos’ Access to Online and Formal Mental Health Support

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Abstract

Research on mental health services disparities affecting minority populations of the USA tends to neglect online mental health support (OMHS). The main objective of this study was to investigate online mental health support and help-seeking of Latino citizens living in US communities by estimating associations linking OMHS with a selection of individual and community variables. In addition, the extent to which unmet mental health treatment needs among adults are associated with key variables was examined. Variables of interest included economic resources, health insurance and coverage, confidentiality, perceived stigma, and accessibility. Data are from 39,630 Latino adult participants in the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2004–2010. Results indicate that for every 10,000 US Latino adults, fewer than 25 individuals received recent OMHS, as compared to a recently published estimate of 270–330 per 10,000 for the US population generally. Among Latinos with self-described unmet mental health needs, an estimated 40% identified cost of treatment as a prominent barrier that explained why they had not received formal mental health treatment services. Research and policy health disparities implications are discussed.