Access to care is not same for all
Health care disparity is a significant issue that often is disregarded and affects primarily ethnic minorities and those of low socioeconomic status. These disparities can be traced to the unethical use of African American female bodies for experiments and practice of medical procedures. This mindset, still present today, has led us to a system consumed by disparity, a known and unspoken injustice that can be a costly mistake for an already fragile and vulnerable population.
Disparities in health care often lead to many not seeking care that they so desperately need whether mental or physical. The idea that mental health care is not as accepted because of the misconception that it will not help or that it means you are not normal fosters the stigma that we can do this alone.
Mental illness is not discriminatory. It does not care if you are wealthy or of middle or low income. According to the American Psychiatric Association, 18 percent of U.S. adults have a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year and 48 percent of whites receive mental health services compared to 31 percent of blacks and Hispanics. One in three African Americans who need mental health care receives it.
Do not allow this or the idea of subpar care to be acceptable any longer. Minorities are not receiving equitable care despite the obvious fact that everyone deserves quality care regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status.
Through education, we can teach and encourage that seeking mental health care is not a moment of shame but instead a moment of freedom. By increasing access to care, we provide everyone with an equal opportunity to receive the care to which they are entitled.
Lastly, by improving the quality of care so that it is more culturally competent and efficient, we can prevent under or misdiagnosis and improve the confidence in the care that is being received. Of all the things in the world that are unjust and lack equality, health care should not be one of them.
Latonya L. Jones
Social workers live with danger
Every day, thousands of social workers in this country put their lives at risk to ensure the protection of those they serve in the community. These brave men and women perform their due diligence, knowing they are walking into a risky and sadly, fatal situation in some cases, without protection and without a means to properly defend themselves, should they be harmed.
It is disappointing that the a social worker’s state expects there to be individuals to ensure other people’s safety, while providing little to none to the worker themselves. These individuals are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. These individuals are people within the community who risk losing their lives to protect others, yet rank so low on society’s value system, that they cannot receive any sort support in regards to their safety.
This knowledge can deter many from joining the field of social work and can keep those within the field from creating a lifelong career. This issue is affecting communities nationwide, as communities are severely understaffed in the field of social work, which compromises the safety of the individuals in their community.
Recommendations that can be presented to lawmakers to provide safety to social workers could be implementing the use of body cams when a social worker is conducting an investigation, allocating funds to provide social workers with self-defense courses or implementing a system in which two social workers are called to investigate a case.
It is imperative that the safety of social workers be treated as critical issue brought to lawmakers attention as communities depend on their support and service and the provided recommendations can help ensure that social workers, who are risking their lives to ensure other’s safety, are able to receive a fair amount of safety provided to them. These men and women contribute so much and risk so much to provide some sort of stability to their community. It is disheartening that they are not provided some sort of insurance to protect themselves.