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New California Poll Underscores Challenges Of Black Women And Latinas Seeking Mental Health Care

A sign with green lettering says "Mental Health Urgent Care" on the side of a building with stucco walls and bars on the windows.
(Rebecca Plevin/ KPCC)
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A new California poll commissioned by Black Women Organized for Political Action and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, two Black and Latina women’s advocacy groups, underscores the challenges some women of color face when it comes to getting mental health care.

Why It Matters:

More than 62% of the 800 Black and Latina women surveyed reported having a mental health issue, but did not seek help for it.

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Among the respondents, Gen Z and millennials (ages 18-41) were even more likely to have untreated mental health concerns (73%).

The Reasons:

Shakari Byerly, one of the study's lead researchers, said the prominent barriers respondents reported facing were cost, but also things like transportation, getting time off work and the ability to have childcare support.

The majority of women said racism or discrimination had been detrimental to their mental health.

What’s Next:

Byerly and her colleagues recommend that governments look at addressing barriers like the cost of mental health services (and insurance coverage) as well as getting more women of color into mental health professions.

Go Deeper: Why It’s So Hard To Find A Therapist In LA

What questions do you have about mental health in SoCal?
One of my goals on the mental health beat is to make the seemingly intractable mental health care system more navigable.