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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Role of Public Policies in Reducing Mental Health Status Disparities for People of Color
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Ethnic and racial disparities in mental health are driven by social factors such as housing, education, and income. Many of these social factors are different for minorities than they are for whites. Policies that address gaps in these social factors therefore can address mental health status disparities. We analyze three policies and their impact on minorities: the Individuals with Disability Education Act, Section 8 housing vouchers, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Two of the three policies appear to have been effective in reducing social inequalities between whites and minorities. Expansion of public policies can be the mechanism to eliminate mental health status disparities for minorities. (Authors)
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