Mental Health Care Disparities Now and in the Future

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2018 Apr;5(2):351-356. doi: 10.1007/s40615-017-0377-6. Epub 2017 Jun 20.


In 2014, the USA spent $3 trillion dollars in health care the most per capita in the world. However, the USA lacks universal health coverage, and lags behind other highly developed and wealthy countries in life expectancy (even some "non wealthy" countries have better outcomes). The USA also has deficits in other health outcome measures. Health care costs in the USA continue to rise annually and many patients receive only mediocre care. In addition, clear disparities exist across different communities, socioeconomic groups, and race and ethnicity groups. As a result, individuals with mental illness are at an increased risk of being homeless, committing suicide, and having problems maintaining a job. This paper will address mental health disparities and review the efforts some states are taking to improve the lifesaving services offered to citizens with mental illness, in order for them to recover and reach their full potentials.

Keywords: And legislation; Mental health care disparities; Mental illness.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Medical Intervention
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnicity
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Mental Health Recovery*
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States