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Diversity, Biases, and Special Populations

Diversity, Biases, and Special Populations

Culturally Diverse Values and Beliefs

Two individuals suffering from depression might differ in the manner in which they manifest and get treated for depression due to their cultural differences. This is common among Caucasians and African Americans. Culture influences the manner in which individuals express their emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. The manner in which depression and anxiety are manifested and treated varies across different cultures, for an individual from a culture where psychological terms and disorders are common, depression and anxiety can be easily expressed using those words. However, in other cultures, other words might be used. For instance, in some cultures where depression and anxiety are not acknowledged, physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, or stomach discomfort are commonly used. A Rwandan man once expressed his shock over Western mental health workers who took individuals one after the other in little rooms and had them talk for about an hour about the bad things that went on in their lives instead of taking them out in the sunshine or involving other community members (Altweck et al., 2015). The man called this a bizarre thing. In the US, depression is said to affect over 10 million individuals (Bailey, Mokonogho & Kumar, 2019). There are significant differences in the manner in which depression is diagnosed and treated among Caucasians and African Americans. Unlike in the African American population, among Caucasians, expression of feelings and seeking mental health services is normalized. Persistent discrimination among African Americans is considered among the main factors for the population’s distrust towards mental health workers, the majority of whom are usually Caucasians. The chronicity of depression is often higher among African Americans (56%) compared to Caucasians (38.6%) because over half the number of African Americans with depression fail to seek treatment even though the condition is often disabling or severe for them (Bailey, Mokonogho & Kumar, 2019). Until recently, studies have shown that seeking mental health services among African Americans is rare, and the stigma of doing so is also high (DeFreitas et al., 2018). Most of them also have strong religious support and would rather speak to their religious leaders as opposed to mental health workers (Turner, Hastings & Neighbors, 2019). Latinos also tend to experience similar challenges due to their immigration status and cultural beliefs of not sharing emotions. Do you need urgent assignment help ? Get in touch with us at

Social Justice and Behavioral Health Services

In relation to health disparities, social justice is the minimization of economic and social conditions that negatively affect the health of communities and individuals. Various factors linked to social injustice may result in heightened rates of death, disability, and disease. Such factors include poverty, lack of health insurance coverage, inadequate education, and limited availability of medical care (Dilworth‐Anderson, Pierre & Hilliard, 2012). Social justice advocates have established the need for providing comprehensive healthcare services to individuals regardless of their racial identification and geographic location of income. Among African Americans, socioeconomic factors like having health insurance coverage, poverty, and low educational levels affect when and where they receive behavioral health services. These factors result in major disparities in health. Social justice focuses on such disparities.  Members of ethnic and racial minority groups have reduced access to mental health services compared to their white counterparts, and they are also less likely to obtain the needed care and have a higher likelihood of receiving poor quality of care when treated (Miranda et al., 2018). There are no major progress made towards reducing disparities in mental health care. Therefore, compared to whites, blacks have delayed mental health treatment and have limited places of receiving the treatment due to insurance coverages and the lack of culturally competent mental health workers.

Personal Biases

I belong to a minority ethnic group and come from a relatively low-income family. As a minority, I have experienced my share of discrimination in terms of obtaining health and educational services. It is often difficult to find an individual who wholly understands my health needs due to cultural differences. However, I also discovered my own personal biases and prejudices towards members of other special populations. As a Hispanic, I am quite conservative about my views regarding homosexuality. I realized that whereas I have nothing against homosexuals, I do not support homosexuality, considering it immoral. I am worried that my biases might affect my performance as a behavioral health paraprofessional when I encounter homosexual clients. The majority of them have high rates of depression due to the stigma and discrimination experienced in the society.

Importance of Personal Bias Awareness

Awareness of my own biases might help me better assist behavioral health clients. Identifying my personal biases can help me better manage or mitigate them during my interaction with mental health clients. Research shows that stigma and bias (both unconscious and conscious) that are projected by healthcare workers toward the LGBTQ population have a major role to play in enhancing the mental and physical disparities in this population (Marcelin et al., 2019). Being aware of these biases can help me make better decisions and offer professional treatment without projecting them to the clients. I would not like to be a part of a system that increases their poor mental health, and hence, I work on rectifying my personal biases to ensure that this does not affect the manner in which I interact with them. Being aware of my own biases and working to mitigate them can also help me to be better equipped to help behavioral health clients, as I will have extensive knowledge of the challenges that they face and how I can help them overcome some of these challenges.


Altweck, L., Marshall, T. C., Ferenczi, N., & Lefringhausen, K. (2015). Mental health literacy: a cross-cultural approach to knowledge and beliefs about depression, schizophrenia, and generalized anxiety disorder. Frontiers in Psychology6, 1272.

Bailey, R. K., Mokonogho, J., & Kumar, A. (2019). Racial and ethnic differences in depression: current perspectives. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment15, 603.

DeFreitas, S. C., Crone, T., DeLeon, M., & Ajayi, A. (2018). Perceived and personal mental health stigma in Latino and African American college students. Frontiers in public health6, 49.

Dilworth‐Anderson, P., Pierre, G., & Hilliard, T. S. (2012). Social justice, health disparities, and culture in the care of the elderly. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics40(1), 26-32.

Marcelin, J. R., Siraj, D. S., Victor, R., Kotadia, S., & Maldonado, Y. A. (2019). The impact of unconscious bias in healthcare: how to recognize and mitigate it. The Journal of Infectious Diseases220(Supplement_2), S62-S73.

Miranda, J., McGuire, T. G., Williams, D. R., & Wang, P. (2018). Mental health in the context of health disparities. american Journal of Psychiatry165(9), 1102-1108.

Turner, N., Hastings, J. F., & Neighbors, H. W. (2019). Mental health care treatment seeking among African Americans and Caribbean Blacks: what is the role of religiosity/spirituality? Aging & mental health23(7), 905-911.


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Select a special population for the focus of this assignment. Write a 750-1,000-word essay in which you describe how two individuals from the same special population may be culturally diverse from one another. For instance, two cancer survivors can be considered in the same special population because they are cancer survivors, though each individual may have different cultural identities.

Diversity, Biases, and Special Populations

Diversity, Biases, and Special Populations

Include the following in your essay:

Explain how culturally diverse values and beliefs are relevant to how two individuals from the same special population might seek and interact with behavioral health services and how this differs from other populations.
How does social justice influence where and when these individuals receive behavioral health services?
Describe your own memberships to special populations. Include any biases you might have about other special populations. How might those biases influence you as a behavioral health paraprofessional?
How might awareness of your own or others’ biases help you better assist behavioral health clients?
The paper must include a minimum of two credible sources.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies:

BS Behavioral Health Science

3.1: Discuss the impact of multiculturalism, diversity awareness, and social justice in the behavioral health field.

3.4: Examine the values and belief systems across cultures.

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