Monday, July 9, 2012

Mental Health Services Use in Ethnic Minorities

Given July is designated as Minority Mental Health month; I decided to write a post on disparities in mental health. One of the reasons I pursued a Ph.D. in clinical psychology was because as an undergraduate student I felt that the research on mental health concerns in children was limited, specifically as it related to service utilization for ethnic minorities.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities1, less than ½ of adults and 1/3 of children receive the needed mental health treatment. This is alarming given that over time these problems may become worse resulting in poor daily functioning and having a negative impact on relationships. Additionally, mental health difficulties can also impact health outcomes such as chronic diseases.

According to the research ethnic minority populations (e.g., African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American) are less likely to seek help from a mental health professional such as a psychologist. My own research2,3 on child mental health services focuses on examining what are some contributing factors to preventing parents from seeking treatment. The US Surgeons General4 has reported that for ethnic minority groups some of these barriers include financial considerations, racism, and discrimination. Other1, 2 report barriers such as stigma, attitudes, income, mistrust, and lack of health care providers. In my own research, I have found that attitudes toward mental health and mental health stigma are highly important to the lack of service use by ethnic minorities.

Given these disparities in mental health, what can be done to meet the needs of ethnic minorities? Personally, I believe there needs to be increased education about the benefits of psychological treatment. The American Psychological Association, Division 42 (Psychologist in Independent Practice) has developed a video that promotes seeking treatment. See below:

Additional ways to help decrease the stigma around mental health services include:
·         Ensuring that mental health and behavioral health services are covered by insurance
·         Training psychologist to provide culturally sensitive treatments
·         Applying a community based approach to treatment
·         Talk to a doctor about mental health (to increase the referral process)

Note: If you feel the need to seek treatment, you can access the following sites to locate a provider in your area.  

© Copyright 2012 Erlanger A. Turner 


1. Fact Sheet on Mental Health Disparities (

2. Turner, E.A., Heffer, R., & Jensen-Doss, A. (August, 2010). Disparities in Child Mental Health Services: The Role of Ethnicity, Attitudes, and Stigma. Presentation at the American Psychological Association Convention, San Diego, CA.

3.  Turner, E.A., & Liew, J. (2010). Children’s Adjustment and Child Mental Health Service Use: The Role of Parents’ Attitudes and Personal Service Use in an Upper Middle Class Sample. Community Mental Health Journal, 46,3, 231-240.

4. American Psychiatric Association, Minority Mental Health (

5. National Council of Community Behavioral Health (

Monday, July 2, 2012

Resources for Psychology Students

There is an abundance of information available on the internet for students who are interested in being a licensed psychologist. As a graduate student not so long ago, there was a time when I was overwhelmed with the knowledge base available. As a former member of the Committee for the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS), I became abreast of some pertinent resources while serving at the Member at Large, Practice (2008-2010). Below is a list of sites that I have compiled. The goal is to provide practice oriented graduate students with information pertinent to the internship process, licensure preparation, and business of psychological practice.
Licensed Psychologist
National Register Health Service Provider in Psychology

v  American Psychological Association
Find information about psychology and membership in APA.

v  Internships and Postdoctoral Programs
Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC)
The APPIC site provides information regarding internship and postdoctoral programs, internship match rates, and resources for internship preparation.

v  APAGS Listservs
Stay abreast of current topics related to graduate education and training. Join APAGS listservs targeting clinical psychology.
CLINAPAGS, for students studying clinical psychology
APAGSINTERNSHIP, focused on issues faced by students currently on internship
MENTORS, connecting students with practicing psychologists
Note: To subscribe to any listserv, send an e-mail to ( with the following in the BODY of the message (leave the subject line blank): SUBSCRIBE <listserv name in capital letters> <firstname> <lastname>

v  APA Practice Central
As an APAGS member, the Practice Central allows you access to protected content related to the practice of psychology.
Staying competitive in the evolving health care marketplace requires you to take an active role in building, managing, marketing and diversifying your practice.
Provides steps towards completing licensure and starting a practice.

v  Licensure and Certification Information
Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)
ASPPB is the association of psychology licensing boards. Information can be obtained regarding specific jurisdiction requirements for licensure, licensure mobility, and the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP)
Interested in establishing a certified specialty area? Visit the ABPP site to obtain information about becoming a board certified psychologist. Specialty areas cover a variety of areas such as clinical, health, school, counseling, and neuropsychology.

National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
The National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology credentials doctoral level psychologists, offer free continuing education, and work closely with doctoral level psychology students to verify and bank their credentials.

v  APA Divisions for Student Practitioners
Find your niche within the psychology field by joining an APA Division that fits your career goals.

v  Transitioning to an Early Career Psychologist
Get connected through APA Early Career Psychologist. The link provides information regarding financial planning, licensure, and career development.

© Copyright 2012 Erlanger A. Turner