Mental Health – Health Disparity and How it is Being Addressed at Local and National Level

The Healthy People Consortium is one of the most renowned organizational conglomerates whose primary goal is the full implementation of the Healthy People 2020 campaign. The objective of this initiative is health promotion by enabling individuals to attain high-quality lives, ultimately allowing them to live longer disease-free lives. As part of this bold initiative, Healthy People 2020 seeks to improve mental health by ensuring patients receive suitable and quality mental health services. This is particularly essential since the United States is currently grappling with varied disparities in access to mental health services (Edelman et al., 2018).

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On average, rural Americans and ethnic minorities such as African-Americans, Native-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have limited access to mental health services compared to Caucasian Americans. This is partly due to a low socio-economic status, inadequate access to trained professionals and restricted access to crucial information regarding the grave nature of mental health conditions. Conditions stemming from mental disorder can result in debilitating effects and one of the most typical causes of disability (Williams et al., 2019).

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Additionally, the accompanying disease burden also creates hurdles for medical professionals when seeking to provide their much-needed services. It is for this reason that governments at the local and national levels now responded appropriately to address this protracted debacle. The local government in Chesapeake, Virginia is an example of a local government that has embarked on a robust initiative to reduce mental health disparities (“Mental Health,” 2019).

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Elected officials within the jurisdiction have introduced of an elaborate multi-sectorial approach as a framework for mental healthcare promotion. Local governments can also apply a socio-ecological approach to responding to the mental health crisis by evaluating its effect on the community and adopting a place-based framework for intervention. At the national level, policymakers can address this challenge by passing crucial health reform legislation preventing discrimination and exclusion in healthcare (Wojciechowski, 2018, p. 395). The national government should also, through its agencies, provide adequate tools and resources to the public to raise mental health awareness and inform individuals on the availability of relevant treatment programs.

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