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Community Health – Healthy People 2020

Community Health – Healthy People 2020

Healthy People 2020 is a comprehensive set of health promotion and disease prevention objectives established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve the health and well-being of all Americans. One health disparity highlighted in Healthy People 2020 is the unequal distribution of mental health services and resources among racial and ethnic groups (Pronk et al., 2021).

Research indicates that racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States face significant disparities in accessing mental health care. They are less likely to receive proper diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for mental health conditions than their White counterparts (Thomeer et al., 2023). This disparity is linked to various factors, including cultural stigma, language barriers, lack of health insurance, and systemic biases within the healthcare system.

To address this health disparity at the national level, the federal government has implemented several initiatives and policies. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded mental health coverage and mandated insurance companies to provide mental health services on par with physical health services (Pronk et al., 2021). Additionally, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires health insurance plans to offer equal coverage for mental health services, such as medical and surgical services (Thomeer et al., 2023).

At the local level, many community-based organizations and healthcare facilities have launched initiatives to improve access to mental health services for minority populations. One approach is increasing cultural competence among healthcare providers to ensure they can better understand and respond to the unique needs of diverse communities (Thomeer et al., 2023). Moreover, collaborations between healthcare providers and community organizations foster outreach programs to reduce mental health stigma and educate individuals about available resources (Pronk et al., 2021).

Efforts are also being made to improve language access through interpreters and translated materials, making mental health services more accessible to those with limited English proficiency. Some regions have established mental health clinics within community centers or places of worship, making it easier for individuals to seek help in familiar and comfortable environments (Pronk et al., 2021).


Pronk, N. P., Kleinman, D. V., & Richmond, T. S. (2021). Healthy People 2030: moving toward equitable health and well-being in the United States. EClinicalMedicine33.

Thomeer, M. B., Moody, M. D., & Yahirun, J. (2023). Racial and ethnic disparities in mental health and mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities10(2), 961-976.


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Healthy People 2020

Healthy People 2020

Examine Healthy People 2020 health promotion and disease prevention objectives. Identify a health disparity, research this topic, and discuss how it is being addressed at both the local and national levels.

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