Addressing Mental Health Disparities

NYU Silver scholars are focused on the unique challenges that people in racial and ethnic minority communities face for accessing mental health services and receiving quality, culturally-responsive care. 

Over the past year, NYU Silver investigators have contributed to numerous studies addressing mental health disparities. We are sharing just a few of the highlights that were published in leading peer-reviewed journals for Minority Mental Health Month.

Cover of the Journal of Adolescent HealthHeath, R. D., & Keene, L. (2023). The role of school and community involvement in the psychosocial health outcomes of Black and Latinx LGBTQ youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 72(5):650-657.

A study of Black and Latinx LGBTQ adolescents and young adults found community involvement, especially in social activities tailored to LGBTQ individuals and LGBTQ people of color, was associated with positive psychosocial health outcomes. There was no similar association for school enrollment. Findings suggest those who work with Black and Latinx LGBTQ adolescents and young adults should make special efforts to facilitate community involvement. The study was the subject of an editorial in the issue of Journal of Adolescent Health in which it appeared that argued for the development of an integrative antiracist approach to identifying and optimizing intersectional assets for Black and Latinx LGBTQ youth.

Frontiers in Public Health logoOkazaki, S., Lee, C. S., Prasai, A., Chang, D. F., & Yoo, G. (2022). Disaggregating the data: Diversity of COVID-19 stressors, discrimination, and mental health among Asian American communities. Frontiers in Public Health, 10.

An online survey of Asian American adults found vastly different experiences of discrimination and psychological distress among Asian ethnic subgroups during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings underscore the importance of research that systematically examines subgroup differences within the broad Asian American population.

Cover of Child and Adolescent Social Work JournalMagan, I. M., Sanchez, E., & Munson, M. R. (2022). “I Talk to Myself”: Exploring the Mental and Emotional Health Experiences of Muslim Rohingya Refugee Adolescents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 1-12.

A qualitative study of Rohingya refugee adolescents in the U.S. found that all experienced some level of emotional and mental health distress, mostly associated with the school context; however, they used self-reliance as a coping mechanism and found support from their families and Islamic faith. Findings support the need for mental health programs and interventions co-created with Rohingya youth and family members that center their inherent strengths.

Cover of Schizophrenia ResearchMunson, M. R., Jaccard, J., Moore, K. L., Rodwin, A. H., Shimizu, R., Cole, A. R., … & Stanhope, V. (2022). Impact of a brief intervention to improve engagement in a recovery program for young adults with serious mental illness. Schizophrenia Research, 250, 104-111.

A National Institute of Mental Health funded randomized study of a promising, orientation intervention designed to keep marginalized young adults with serious mental illness connected to mental health treatment found that the intervention significantly improved attendance and level of treatment buy-in. Young adults have long been known to be at high risk of disengaging from treatment.