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Mental Health Care Utilization: How Race, Ethnicity and Veteran Status are Associated with Seeking Help.

De Luca SM, Blosnich JR, Hentschel EA, King E, Amen S. Mental Health Care Utilization: How Race, Ethnicity and Veteran Status are Associated with Seeking Help. Community mental health journal. 2016 Feb 1; 52(2):174-9.

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As veterans disproportionately experience higher rates of mental illness than civilians, conflicting results surround the impact of race/ethnicity on treatment utilization. This study utilized the CDC's Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data, a random-digit dialed telephone survey of non-institutionalized adults. A subset of Texas respondents (n  =  8563) were asked questions related to mental health treatment, stigma, help-seeking attitudes and emotional support. While no differences were found in health care utilization between non-Hispanic white veterans and non-veterans, there were distinct patterns among racial/ethnic minority veterans and non-veterans. Black and Latino non-veterans reported significantly lower health care utilization compared to non-Hispanic white non-veterans. Among veterans, there were no differences in reported utilization rates comparing non-Hispanic whites and Latinos and also non-Hispanic whites and Blacks. Our study adds to the literature by examining health care utilization among a diverse group of veterans by focusing on Veterans Administration (VA) and non-VA services to veterans.

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