COVID-19: The Mental Health Impact on People of Color and Minority Groups

May 29, 2020

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Medical News Today

Racial and ethnic minorities may be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal data suggest people from diverse backgrounds are more likely to be considered “essential workers,” which places them at higher risk for virus exposure. Reduced access to health care in this population may prevent them from getting the help they need, while higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder may raise their risk of mental health issues. Other factors that may impact the well-being of racial and ethnic minorities include discrimination, socioeconomic inequality, and language barriers. Listening to the needs of minority populations and providing them with culturally competent mental health care is critical, said Margarita Alegría, chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital Disparities Research Unit. She recommended communities set up local crisis services and train community health workers to offer mental health and substance abuse treatment to people in their native language.

Spark Extra! Learn more about suicide among racial and ethnic groups.