Department

Social Work

Date of Paper/Work

Spring 5-2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation

Advisors

Michael Chovanec

Abstract

Previous literature on mental health disparities provides a context for the scope and impact of inequality within mental health treatment. Hence, there is a need to add to the existing efforts to develop equitable mental health services. In response to this need, this banded dissertation comprised two scholarly articles and a peer-reviewed presentation explored the role of social work in addressing mental health disparities among people who are racially minoritized. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the conceptual framework guiding this dissertation. The first article is a conceptual paper that applies the assumptions of CRT in evaluating mental health disparities among groups that are racially minoritized. The paper discusses implications for the application of CRT to social work practice, education, and research.

The second academic work is a qualitative study that explored social workers’ perceptions of mental health disparities among people who are racially minoritized. Through thematic analysis of 13 semi-structured interviews, social workers identified prevalent disparities observed in clinical practice and made recommendations for improvement. The findings from this study highlight the value of formal and informal cultural education, the continued need for racial and ethnic representation among social workers, and the need to address mental health disparities among people who are racially minoritized.

The final product is the documentation of initial findings from the above qualitative study presented at the 44th Annual NASW State Conference in Oklahoma on September 6th, 2019. This presentation reviewed the previous literature on mental health disparities among people who are racially minoritized. Emerging themes from the qualitative study were explored, and participants were encouraged to apply the information to their current practice environments.

Keywords

Critical Race Theory, clinical social work, mental health disparities, race, ethnicity, racially minoritized

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Available for download on Sunday, November 21, 2021

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Social Work Commons

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