A nuanced approach to disparities in mental health care
Last year the APA commissioned a working group to prepare a report ‘that summarized critical factors contributing to health disparities in boys and men vulnerable to health disparities’.
A clear message from the report was that if we are to keep boys and men healthy and alive, we need to focus on the intersection of gender with other aspects of a person’s identity, including sexual identity, ‘racial identity, ethnic identity, religiosity and spirituality, and other factors’ (APA 2018).
For example, the report pointed out that ‘vulnerable boys and men are in a precarious social position because they are marginalized in one social identity domain (e.g., race/ethnicity and sexual orientation) and presumed to be privileged in another (e.g., gender). Occupying discrepant social positions can lead vulnerable boys and men to respond to environmental stress, depression, and trauma by engaging in health-damaging behaviors that symbolically restore power and control’, and ‘often these behaviors are the very ones that put these males at greater risk for health disparities’ (APA 2018).
It feels like this report was a little neglected by the media. It was published last year, and I have heard little commentary about it, and I wonder why.
You can find the full report by following the link below. Do let me know what you think.
Chris Warren-Dickins LLB MA LPC
Psychotherapist, (Licensed Professional Counselor), Northern New Jersey
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