Study examines mental health in common ethnic minorities in Ontario

Not surprising, both the increased prevalence and the lower use of mental services:

Ethnocultural minorities are more likely to report suffering from mental health issues but are less likely to access treatment, a study out of York University using Ontario Health Study (OHS) survey data has found.
Participation in the OHS includes an extensive online survey that asks each user to review a list of ethnocultural groups and check those they thought they belonged to. The survey also included questions related to common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and social isolation. Researchers looked at self-reported data from some of Ontario’s most common minority groups, such as South Asian, East Asian, Southeast Asian and Black Ontarians, and measured them against a comparable group of OHS participants who identified as white.

“Minority groups were much more likely to report mental health problems and stressful life events,” said Professor Sherry Grace, also of the University Health Network. “And with the exception of Aboriginal Ontarians, we also found that they were less likely to use the mental health services that we have here. This is unfortunate because there are proven treatments for depression and anxiety that really work.”

The stresses of adapting to a new country could be one of the reasons driving this, suggests Professor Grace.

“Most people who immigrate are very healthy, but studies show that being away from family, as well starting over in one’s career, and the financial repercussions of this, are tough” she says.

Study examines mental health in common ethnic minorities in Ontario

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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