Associating Access to Mental Health Resources with Anxiety Levels in the API Population Attending Community Health Fairs

Iris Kang, Kristy Lin, Matthew Tsai, Elaine Zheng, Ly Nguyen, Alexis Duke, Dr. Burton Cowgill, Department of Health Policy and Management, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095

The Asian and Pacific Islander (API) population is the fastest-growing minority group in the United States. However, the API population has consistently been found to underutilize mental health services compared to other racial groups, which may largely be attributed to differing cultural values and linguistic barriers. Among the multitude of mental disorders, anxiety disorders in particular are the most prevalent class of mental illness in the United States. In nationally representative surveys, the API population appears to experience lower rates of mild, moderate, and severe anxiety based on the GAD-7 scale. However, these statistics may be misleading as other studies have indicated that the API population is less inclined to acknowledge and report symptoms of anxiety than members of other races. The present study aims to analyze and investigate the relationship between access to culturally-accommodative mental health resources and anxiety level of an API population in the Los Angeles area who have previously attended community-based health fairs in order to elucidate the efficacy of the tailored services offered at the fair. We identified and located linguistically-tailored mental health providers/clinics surrounding seven community health fair sites using the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health Provider Directory and Service Locator, and organized these resources by geographic density and variety. We expect subsequent chi-square analysis to indicate a statistically significant negative correlation between resource density vs. anxiety level and resource variety vs. anxiety level. By resource variety we mean the spread of different resource types, such as providers who can prescribe medication, providers who cannot prescribe medication, and community organizations. Our findings would suggest that the lack of culturally and linguistically-accommodative mental health resources is a major factor in the underutilization of mental health services among the API population, and that efforts to provide more culturally-adapted services should merit further attention.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Iris Kang, Kristy Lin, Matthew Tsai, Elaine Zheng, Ly Nguyen, Alexis Duke

Institution: University of California - Los Angeles

Type: Poster

Subject: Nursing & Public Health

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6051