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Abstract

African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Native Americans have had relatively less access to the resources of society compared to white Americans. These resources include such things as educational and employment opportunities, political and economic power, and the goods and services that a prosperous society can produce. Health care is an important resource to which access is not equal for all groups. African Americans and other ethnic minority groups are, by most indices of health care access and utilization, underserved. Mental health services, in particular, have been shown to be less available to ethnic minority populations. Jones and Korchin, and Turner and Kramer, have demonstrated that, although the needs for mental health services are predictably greater among ethnic minority groups, access to the highest quality services has been less than that for whites. Minorities have briefer stays in mental health inpatient facilities but significantly more re-hospitalizations. Minorities are treated primarily with drugs rather than psychotherapy. Geller has presented persuasive evidence for a systematic bias against the acceptance of African American clients into psychotherapy.

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