Mental Care Services and Mental Health Care

Proper access to mental care services and care is the first and essential aspect of a person’s wellbeing, however, a plethora of factors impact one’s ability to receive the needed support. It is evident that the inability to adequately address individuals’ needs of psychological help will result in consequences in the form of developing serious mental health problems and conditions that can affect one’s ability to function in a social environment. A need for exploring what factors, in particular, affect the ability to access mental health care and how the existing barriers can be addressed within different communities is an important question requiring empirical exploration.

While the researchers and practitioners recognize the importance and effect that mental health care has on a person’s wellbeing, the issue of access and factors impacting it is underexplored. A lot of research into mental health service provision focuses on factors such as socioeconomic status (SES), for example, Assari (2017) found that Africa-Americans are usually at a greater disadvantage when evaluating the access to mental care, and does not explore the effect that this problem has on individuals. Moreover, the perceived necessity of addressing personal mental health needs is an important determinant of whether the person, regardless of their SES, will try to seek professional help (Narendorf & Palmer, 2016). However, a small number of researchers address the issue of unmet access to care and how it impacts the wellbeing of an individual.

The larger context of this problem is connected to the possible lack of awareness that adversely affects people’s desire to attain psychological support. Access to mental health care services, specifically for minorities has been a topic of debatable for researchers because it is unclear which factors, in particular, have the most significant effect, with some citing gender and income, while others refer to race as the primary determinant (Neblet, Bernard, & Banks, 2016; Villatoro et al., 2018; You et al., 2019). In addition, the focus of some researchers is on examining how minorities are at a disadvantage and do not have the same opportunities as people with high incomes and advanced education (Thompson, Cole, & Nitzarim, 2016). Thus, the evidence suggests the issue is discussed from the perspective of SES, such as education and income, that do not allow people to receive necessary care services. The social inequalities continue to hinder the ability of people to have their basic needs met (Epping, Muschik, & Geyer, 2017; Ford et al. 2018). Therefore, this problem exists in the context of SES factors that can be addressed by mental health providers and communities to aid people in getting proper psychological care.

The topic of mental health access is relevant and warranted because research by Vilatoro et al. (2018) provides evidence of the importance that the perceived value of care has on the person’s desire to seek care, regardless of other SES factors. By educating the individuals on the importance of mental health care, society can address one of its many issues. As a result, a better understanding of SES-related factors and the strategies for addressing these barriers will be developed (Destin, Rheinschmidt-Same, & Richeson, 2017). Therefore, prior research on the topic focused on exploring how SES factors impact the community’s ability to access care.

The practical importance of the topic lies in a better understanding of what effect the unmet mental health service need has on an individual. In essence, the existing research provides that many people in this state, especially the minorities, do not have access to mental health care services that they need. However, the interpretation of this remains open to debate, since it is unclear if lack of such services significantly impacts the lives of these people or whether this has a moderate effect on them. The topic is empirical because it can be examined through an experiment, for example, by gathering data from participants of a minority group.

The theoretical importance of exploring the SES related factors and an intervention that can help address the perceived value of care in connection to psychological support is the effect that the inability to obtain these services may have on the individuals. Becker, Kraus, and Rheinschmidt-Same (2017) state that physiological reactions are linked with one’s social strata, while Delgadillo and Gilboy (2016) point out the fact that poor mental health is more prevalent in low-income communities. Moreover, conclusions regarding one’s perception and its effect on psychotherapy can be derived from this research, for example, by the conclusion that the way people interpret their status and themselves can affect their desire to seek help.

Hence, the problem that is the matter of discussion is how barriers that hinder access to mental health care can be addressed. A program designed for the members of the African-American community that targets the education regarding mental health needs and ways to address them can resolve some of the issues associated with this care service. All assertions made in this paper are based on scholarly articles and empirical research presented in them.


Assari, S. (2017). Social determinants of depression: The intersections of race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Brain Sciences, 7(12), 156-168.

Becker, J. C., Kraus, M. W., &Rheinschmidt-Same, M. (2017). Cultural expressions of social class and their implications for group-related beliefs and behaviors. Journal of Social Issues, 73(1), 158-174.

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You, J., Zhu, Y., Liu, S., Wang, C., Wang, P., & Du, H. (2019). Socioeconomic disparities in psychological health: Testing the Reserve Capacity Model in a population-based sample of Chinese migrants. Journal of Health Psychology, 1-11.

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PsychologyWriting. "Mental Care Services and Mental Health Care." January 25, 2023.