Martinez and Grgory Vincent http: Is the practice of involuntary outpatient commitment used more often with African-Americans than whites? And if so, what does that mean?
Martinez and Grgory Vincent http: Is the practice of involuntary outpatient commitment used more often with African-Americans than whites?
And if so, what does that mean? It was an important question to answer seven years ago. From either direction, questions over racial disparities need to be recognized and addressed sooner rather than later.
The researchers found that in New York, where the study was conducted, African-Americans were over-represented by a factor of five, compared to whites, among those mandated to outpatient commitment.
And these fundamental disparities have to inform the questions we ask about public policy.
It may mean that the protection of autonomy and liberty, for a person of color, should weigh heavier in the balance against the potential good of the forced treatment.
But the federal mental health care system, and any new laws that change it, can and should address them. There is more research to be done on potential disparities at all levels of the mental health care system.
There is more work to be done integrating cultural and linguistic competency into the mental health care system. There is more research needed on the outcomes of outpatient commitment programs.
Above all, we all have a responsibility to make sure that we are not perpetuating a broader system of racial injustice and disparity.
We have to be vigilant, particularly when it comes to programs that are coercive. The existing research on the outcomes of such programs is mixed, but even if they are beneficial, it is no guarantee that if the practice is expanded at the state level, each program in each state will be beneficial.
If history is any guide, what may work well in New York for example, without bias or prejudice, could become something discriminatory and destructive in another state.
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers found that participants showed less tolerance toward people who were referred to as "the mentally ill" when compared to those referred to as "people with mental illness.
The findings suggest that language choice should not be viewed just as an issue of "political correctness," said Darcy Haag Granello, co-author of the study and professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University.
Granello conducted the study with Todd Gibbs, a graduate student in educational studies at Ohio State. The push to change how society refers to people with mental illness began in the s when several professional publications proposed the use of what they called "person-first" language when talking about people with disabilities or chronic conditions.
But when you talk about 'the mentally ill' the disability is the entire definition of the person," he said. Although the use of person-first language was first proposed more than 20 years ago, this is the first study examining how the use of such language could affect tolerance toward people with mental illness, Granello said.
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