The underutilization of mental health services by African American college students : a review and future suggestions

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2012-05

Authors

McCarthy, Colleen Jaimie

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Abstract

Historically, African Americans consistently underutilize mental health services. This trend is also seen in the African American college population, despite easier access to mental health resources. This report examines the central barriers experienced by African Americans in seeking out mental health services, which are most often seen in the literature. Barriers explored include stigma, the foundations of counseling, cultural mistrust, and attitudes and beliefs about mental health services. The barriers are then used as a framework to discuss preventive, developmental, and community interventions. Further suggestions are made as to how to best utilize interventions to reduce the barriers experienced by African American students in seeking mental health services.

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