Three Health Care Professions to Pay Attention to this Minority Mental Health Month

One in five adults experience mental illness in a given year, and mental health conditions are exacerbated among minority groups. For example, the rate of depression among black youth is 30% higher than the average for their age group. Multiracial US adults are more likely to experience mental illness than adults who identify as any single race. Lesbian, gay and bisexual adults are twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Many Nurse Practitioners Cannot Provide Medications to Treat Opioid Addiction

At least six states with high opioid abuse rates also have strong work restrictions that hinder nurse practitioners (NPs) in prescribing medication that can help treat the problem, according to a study by researchers at Healthforce Center and UCSF. 

Five Ways to Cure California’s Doctor Shortage (CHCF)

Source: California Health Care Foundation

We know that primary care is essential for good health, but access to primary care in California varies greatly, with large swaths of the state competing for attention from increasingly fewer doctors. The primary care shortage is complex, rooted in decisions that future doctors make long before they attend medical school, the cost of their education, where they choose to live, and the financial lure of specialty practice.

First, a few facts:

California: A Health Care Laboratory With Mixed Results (California Healthline)

(source: California Healthline)

California’s expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act enabled many low-income HIV patients to get health insurance previously denied to them. Still, those with mental health needs, who had been receiving coordinated care through a separate federal program, suddenly faced gaps in treatment, payment disputes and doctors who had little understanding of life with HIV.