Mental health is a crucial aspect of an individual’s well-being, which is why seeking the ways of maintaining it and supporting those at risk is an indispensable aspect of present-day care. However, a range of vulnerable groups living below or close to the poverty line have a very limited range of resources needed to access healthcare. The specified issue is particularly real for impoverished African American communities, which often have to face not only neglect but also racism from members of healthcare. By creating a framework that will offer improved communication between nurses and poor African American people, as well as an evidence-based approach allowing for building cultural competence, one will be able to promote significantly positive change.
Although medical racism is no longer an overt phenomenon in present-day healthcare institutions, the phenomenon of medical racism has been shaping the efficacy of and access to healthcare for ethnic and racial minorities to this day. The problem is especially prevalent in the African American community due to the legacy of racism in healthcare and the lack of appropriate changes made in the realm of theoretical approaches and EBP strategies (Prather et al., 2018). Namely, due to the absence of focus on the specific extraneous and internal factors that shape the mental well-being of the target populations, healthcare experts and nurses are incapable of applying a patient-oriented approach (Prather et al., 2018). As a result, the quality of care drops to a deplorable extent, which reduces the willingness to address the respective services in the target audience. (Shepherd et al., 2018). The observed phenomenon creates a loop in which the vulnerable target groups are forced to face an increasingly large threat of mental health issues while having little awareness about dealing with the specified health issues or searching for the available resources (Prather et al., 2018). Therefore, the current system of managing public mental health issues in vulnerable populations, specifically, ethnic and racial minorities and African American people, will benefit from a more comprehensive, culture-oriented, and communication-centered approach. By creating a program based on the framework that takes socioeconomic and sociocultural factors defined by the presence of racism in modern society and the related impediments to healthcare into account, one will be able to address the barriers to effective mental healthcare, which a range of vulnerable and marginalized groups, particularly, racial and ethnic minorities, face.
The model suggested addressing the current issue of severe disparities in the quality of healthcare and the opportunities for accessing vital mental health services for African American people and other ethnic minorities concerns promoting the model that allows identifying key socioeconomic factors contributing to it. For this reason, a study of the factors in question will be needed. Specifically, the proposed research will involve the analysis of the current prejudices against African American people in healthcare, the gaps in knowledge of the specific needs of the target population, and the issues that do not allow increasing health literacy and access to healthcare services among African American citizens. Apart from the issue of medical racism mentioned above, the lack of evidence-based research that it entails should also be listed among the essential issues that define the problem.
The main advantages of the proposed solution include the chance to consider the key culture-specific factors that affect the vulnerable target group by improving the quality of communication with its members. Namely, the development of a program aimed at enhancing the feedback between nurses and members of the African American community will allow for defining the main obstacles in promoting efficient care.
Furthermore, financial constraints preventing the target population from receiving the necessary care will be partially addressed. Namely, the solution in question will promote a drop in the expenses for the key services and the offering of a budgeting healthcare system in addition to the existing Medicare and Medicaid opportunities (Block Jr, 2021). Therefore, the target demographic will receive the chance to be provided with due care and support, including the necessary vaccinations and the needed medications.
Finally, another important change that the suggested solution will bring is improving health literacy among the members of the target population, as well as nurses. Due to the unavailability of information regarding the needs and specifics of the target groups, nurses may lack the skills needed to cater to the specific requirements and health concerns of African American people living in economically challenging settings. In turn, the population in question is likely to have a limited understanding of the nature of their health issues and the methods of identifying threats to health and mitigating them (Block Jr, 2021). In turn, an enhanced communication channel will help to fill in the key knowledge gaps and ensure reciprocity that will move the dialogue between patients and nurses forward.
When implementing the program in question, one should also take into consideration the problem of medical racism as the essential impediment to maintaining the safety of vulnerable groups and providing them with vital services. Specifically, Nuriddin et al. (2020) assert that the lack of concern for the specifics of ethnic minorities’ health needs is what defines the presence of problems in the management of the specified groups’ needs. Remarkably, while the problem of medical racism used to manifest itself in the intentional neglect of and disdain for ethnic and racial minorities, particularly African American people, the concept of colorblindness, the current practices represent a different misjudgment (Nuriddin et al., 2020). Namely, the shift toward colorblindness as the idea of complete equality between patients of all races in healthcare has been morphing into the assumption that the specifics of patients’ ethnic backgrounds are not taken into account when addressing their health issues (Nuriddin et al., 2020). As a result, a range of factor stat is unique to patients from diverse backgrounds, particularly African American patients, are largely ignored, which can be seen as another side of medical racism. Namely, the intentional neglect of the issues specific to the needs of African American people and patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds causes an array of medical errors and cases of misdiagnosing (Nuriddin et al., 2020). Therefore, the current situation in handling the cases of patients from diverse backgrounds leaves much to be desired.
In turn, the idea of offering extra opportunities for accessing therapy based on patients’ socioeconomic status will allow for managing the specified concern properly. Namely, the offered solution is bound to assist in collecting patient-specific data by improving patient-therapist communication. Becoming an active listener for minority groups, a therapist will be able to isolate the culture- and ethnicity-specific factors affecting the target community and build a therapeutic framework around the observed extraneous factors. Thus, patients from diverse backgrounds, who live beyond the poverty line, will be able to have their basic health-related needs met with the help of the described technique.
Block Jr, R. (2021). Race, the health literacy gap, and COVID-19: Reflections from a social scientist studying “pandemic politics”. HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice, 5(2), e121-e123.
Nuriddin, A., Mooney, G., & White, A. I. (2020). Reckoning with histories of medical racism and violence in the USA. The Lancet, 396(10256), 949-951.
Prather, C., Fuller, T. R., Jeffries IV, W. L., Marshall, K. J., Howell, A. V., Belyue-Umole, A., & King, W. (2018). Racism, African American women, and their sexual and reproductive health: a review of historical and contemporary evidence and implications for health equity. Health Equity, 2(1), 249-259.
Shepherd, S. M., Willis-Esqueda, C., Paradies, Y., Sivasubramaniam, D., Sherwood, J., & Brockie, T. (2018). Racial and cultural minority experiences and perceptions of health care provision in a mid-western region. International Journal for Equity in Health, 17(1), 1-10.