Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Men’s Use of Mental Health Treatments

Compared with white Americans, persons of other races in the United States are less likely to have access to and receive needed mental health care.

Few studies, however, have explored such disparities specifically among men. Mental health and treatment have traditionally received less attention for men than women, perhaps because men are less likely than women to report mental health problems and to receive services for these problems.

A new NCHS report uses nationally representative data on frequency of mental health symptoms and related treatment utilization to compare men of color (that is, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic men) with non-Hispanic white men. It also explores whether racial and ethnic disparities differ by age, health insurance coverage status, and income.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Nearly 9% of men (8.5%) had daily feelings of anxiety or depression. Less than one-half of them (41.0%) took medication for these feelings or had recently talked to a mental health professional.
  • Racial and ethnic differences were observed only for men aged 18–44.
  • Among men aged 18–44, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic men (6.1%) were less likely than non-Hispanic white men (8.5%) to report daily feelings of anxiety or depression.
  • Among men aged 18–44 who had daily feelings of anxiety or depression, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic men (26.4%) were less likely than non-Hispanic white men (45.4%) to have used mental health treatments.
  • The significant racial and ethnic disparity in treatment utilization was associated with lack of health insurance coverage.

 

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