Mental health and mental health disorders Assignment

March 6, 2022

Mental health and mental health disorders Assignment

Mental health and mental health disorders Assignment

Mental health and mental health disorders Assignment

  1. Identify ways to enhance or optimize health in the   selected focus area using evidence-based research. A minimum of     three peer-reviewed articles must be utilized.
  2. Address the  health disparity among different segments of the population for the  selected focus area.

For the purposes of this report, health disparities are differences that exist among specific population groups in the United States in the attainment of full health potential that can be measured by differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality, burden of disease, and other adverse health conditions (NIH, 2014). While the term disparities is often used or interpreted to reflect differences between racial or ethnic groups, disparities can exist across many other dimensions as well, such as gender, sexual orientation, age, disability status, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. According to Healthy People 2020, all of these factors, in addition to race and ethnicity, shape an individual’s ability to achieve optimal health (Healthy People 2020, 2016). Indeed, the existing evidence on health disparities does reveal differential health outcomes across and within all of the aforementioned identity groups. Health disparities can stem from health inequities—systematic differences in the health of groups and communities occupying unequal positions in society that are avoidable and unjust (Graham, 2004). These are the type of disparities that are reflected in the committee’s charge and that will be addressed for the remainder of this report. In this section, we describe health disparities affecting populations across multiple dimensions.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities
Race and ethnicity are socially constructed categories that have tangible effects on the lives of individuals who are defined by how one perceives one’s self and how one is perceived by others. It is important to acknowledge the social construction (i.e., created from prevailing social perceptions, historical policies, and practices) of the concepts of race and ethnicity because it has implications for how measures of race have been used and changed over time. Furthermore, the concept of race is complex, with a rich history of scientific and philosophical debate as to the nature of race (James, 2016). Racial and ethnic disparities are arguably the most obstinate inequities in health over time, despite the many strides that have been made to improve health in the United States. Moreover, race and ethnicity are extremely salient factors when examining health inequity (Bell and Lee, 2011; Smedley et al., 2008; Williams et al., 2010). Therefore, solutions for health equity need to take into account the social, political, and historical context of race and ethnicity in this country.

The criteria people use to classify themselves and others racially and ethnically and the attitudes that people hold about race and ethnicity have been changing significantly in the early 21st century. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 37.9 percent of the

Mental health and mental health disorders Assignment

Mental health and mental health disorders Assignment

population was identified to be racial or ethnic minorities in 2014 (NCHS, 2016). “Minority” populations, which already constitute majorities in some cities and states (e.g., California), will become the majority nationwide within 30 years. By the year 2044, they will account for more than half of the total U.S. population, and by 2060, nearly one in five of the nation’s total population will be foreign born (Colby and Ortman, 2014).

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For racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, health disparities take on many forms, including higher rates of chronic disease and premature death compared to the rates among whites. It is important to note that this pattern is not universal. Some minority groups—most notably, Hispanic immigrants—have better health outcomes than whites (Lara et al., 2005). This “immigrant paradox” appears to diminish with time spent in the United States, however (Lara et al., 2005). For other indicators, disparities have shrunk, not because of improvements among minorities but because of declines in the health of majority groups. For example, white females have experienced increased death rates due to suicide and alcohol-related diseases. Research suggests that the recent drug overdose epidemic, along with the rise of suicide and alcohol-related diseases, has contributed to the first increase in the national death rate in decades and to the unusual recent decline in life expectancy for white females (Arias, 2016; Case and Deaton, 2015; NCHS, 2016).1

Although significant progress has been made in narrowing the gap in health outcomes (NCHS, 2016), the elimination of disparities in health has yet to be achieved. Furthermore, this narrowing of health gaps does not hold true for a number of outcomes. Rather, despite overall improvements in health over time, some health disparities persist. This is true with many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related outcomes. For instance, the magnitude of the African American–white disparity in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) diagnoses and mortality has actually grown substantially over time (Levine et al., 2001, 2007).

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Posted in nursing by Clarissa