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B.The Effects of Race, Gender and Age on Mental Health Care

Narrator: This is Science Today. A UCLA study evaluating the quality of mental health care found that health insurance coverage had a relatively small effect on whether or not people received treatment. Alexander Young, an assistant professor of psychiatry who led the study, says individual factors such as race, gender and age actually had a larger effect on treatment.

Young: For instance, African Americans were much less likely to get appropriate care. Men were less likely to get appropriate care, people that were younger - for instance in their twenties or older - like in their fifties and sixties - were less likely to get treated.

Narrator: Young says stigma about mental health conditions probably has a lot to do with this lack of treatment - but it's also because most people with mental health conditions go to their primary care physician first.

Young: We looked at rates of care according to whether people were in primary care or in specialty care and we found that rates in primary care were much lower. Those are busy settings in which there's often not a lot of time to do a thorough evaluation of what's going on or to have a lot of treatment resources available in the primary care setting.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.