Mental Health Status Of Marginalized Mentally Ill Women In LA

Background of LA’s Mentally Ill Population

Marginalized populations often have been reported to have a reduced health outcomes when compared to the rest of the mainstream, and there are a number of different direct and indirect variables are associated with the disparity in the health status. These factors include factors such as socio-economic stratification, social status, educational status and employment, racial discrimination, gender bias and ethnicity (Herndon et al., 2016). This paper will attempt to discuss the mental health status of the mentally ill women in LA as a marginalized population and the impact of the different determinants on their mental health status, the background of the population, economic status of the marginalized population, issues of social justice and ethics, and lastly a promotional plan for the marginalized population that has been selected for the paper.

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The demographic region that is under focus in the paper is LA, and it has to be mentioned in this context that the LA region has been experiencing an alarming rise in the percentage of mentally ill growing in the population. In a recent survey report it has been declared that the percentage of the mentally ill homeless has been growing rapidly in the LA region and as a result the mental health status of the different societal groups has become a serious public health concern for the Los Angeles County. However, for the mentally ill women suffering, there still are a number of stigmatization and limited access to the mental health screening, rendering them marginalized. It has to be mentioned in this context that close to 5 million women living in the Los Angeles have some form of mental Illness, and only approximately half of them have been reported to be seeking the mental health services (, 2018). Considering the statistical data that has been shared by the government authorities, the evidence of incidence rate in the mental illnesses in the chosen marginalized population has risen by a whopping 8.65 in the past couple of years and the majority of the increase has been contributed by the mentally ill women in LA. One of the most common mental health issues affecting the marginalized population selected for the paper is the depression. Elaborating more on the statistical data, there are a number of ethnic groups dominating the extremely high percentage of mentally ill women in LA. Close to 80000 women living in LA struggling with some form of mental illness have been reported to be African American. And more than a million of the marginalized population belongs to the Asian ethnic communities (NAMI Urban Los Angeles, 2018). Hence, it has to be mentioned that more than half of the mentally ill women in LA belong to the social minorities and hence are subjected to health inequalities with respect to mental health services.

Impact of Determinants on Mental Health Status

Economic strength or stability can be considered as a very important aspect of the living condition and lifestyle that a marginalized population is privy to. It has to be mentioned that the financial ability is integral for the maintaining the basic healthy living. However, the low socioeconomic status and low employment rates contribute to the mental health inequalities faced by the marginalized population as well. According to the population statistics, 9.8% of the total population in LA belongs to the African Americans, and 10.7 % belong to the Asians. Comparing the financial status of the mainstream society and the ethnic minority of the marginalized population selected for the paper, a distinctive variation can be observed. Whereas the Caucasian households in LA are $355,000, the African Americans have the median net worthy of only $72000 (, 2018). On the other hand the Asian groups also have a reduced economic stability as well. The median net worth of the Korean is $23,400 and the Vietnamese have $61,500. Hence, it can be clearly mentioned that the ethnically diverse portion of the marginalized population have much lower economic status when compared to the mainstream society, and hence their level of awareness regarding mental health and accessibility to the mental health services is also very limited. Considering the economic status of women, the unemployment rate is 11% in LA and almost 90% of unemployed women living in the LA County have been reported to be living with depression (, 2018).

As mentioned above, healthcare can be considered as a fundamental need of the human life, and hence, each and every human being has an equal right to adequate health care services regardless of the different socioeconomic attributes. The concepts of social justice is very similar to that concept, according to the concept of  social justice, each and every individual residing in the society has an equal right to all of the different social privileges. However, the health disparity prevalent in the present condition is a conspicuous proof of the lack of social justice in the society. First and foremost, the marginalized population of mentally ill women faces a significantly increased rate of unemployment which indicates at the massive social disparity affecting the mental health of the population further (, 2018). Along with that, it also needs to be mentioned in this context that the majority of the marginalized population belongs to the ethnic minority with lesser social inclusion and low socioeconomic status due to racial and cultural discrimination. When the aspects of mental illness are considered, the discrimination is heightened. According to the Wong et al.  (2014) the mentally ill women belonging to ethnic minorities are not treated with respect or justice when seeking out mental health services and as a result the bullying and discrimination reduce the help seeking behavior of the marginalized population even more resulting in rising disparities in the mental health status of the marginalized population.

Economic Status and Social Justice

There also are a few ethical issues plaguing the population that has been chosen and their health issue. First of all, it has to be mentioned that the level health literacy and mental illnesses is still considerably low among the marginalized populations. Moreover, as the population chosen is dominated by the ethnic minorities, the level of literacy is lower and mental health is associated with a considerable amount of stigma. Hence, even when these marginalized populations seek the mental health services, assessing their mental health often is associated with a number of ethical issues. The traditional beliefs of the ethnic minorities often restrict the marginalized mentally ill women from sharing details of their personal details. The privacy and -confidentiality of these women often become an ethical issue and disrupt the cultural safety of care. According to the Gilmer et al. (2016), these ethical and cultural safety issues are one of the most important contributors to the lack of mental health help seeking behavior among the marginalized populations.

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Strategic action


Outcome indicators


Assessment of the mental health awareness of the marginalized population

The mental health promotion plan will need to address each and every mental health care need of the selected population. Hence the strategy is to screen the level of awareness to streamline the promotional activity (Eldredge et al., 2016).

Assess the marginalized population on the basis of their ethnicity.

Conduction of surveys to discover the level of awareness.

Involve both open and close ended questions to engage the participants (Tudor, 2013).

Approaching the participants in the home setting to ensure enhanced participation rate

Use language interpreters and cultural safety measures to ensure optimal engagement and commitment of the participants (Corrigan, Druss & Perlick, 2014)

The mental health awareness levels and literacy is explored and understood with respect to different ethnic groups of the selected population.

1 month

Mental health awareness educational workshops

One of the greatest contributing factors to the lack of help seeking behavior and mental illness among the marginalized population is their lack of knowledge and understanding regarding symptoms and how to recognize the symptoms. Hence, the second strategy in this case will be to enhance the mental health education of the marginalized population (Gilmer et al., 2016).

Preparation of educational pamphlets and brochures indicating prevalent mental illnesses, their common symptoms, and resources and contact details for mental health services.

Seminar presentation involving the at risk marginalized population regarding mental health issues and the need for mental health checkups and assessments, and the government policies schemes with economic benefits for them.

Conduct one to one education sessions for culturally diverse candidates in the presence of language interpreters (Herndon et al., 2016)

The local marginalized group is aware of the need for mental health assessment and treatment.

1 month

Enhance the knowledge of cultural safety

As most of the marginalized population belong to culturally diverse ethnic communities, the third strategic action for me will be to enhance my knowledge regarding the cultural backgrounds they belong to and how to conduct culturally safe practice (Eldredge et al., 2016)

Join cultural safety courses to enhance my knowledge of culturally safe practice.

Research the dominant ethnic minorities to enhance the idea of the traditional concept of health.

Learn the language and symbols associated with ethnic minorities (Wong et al., 2014).

Maintain a journal for tracking my progress

I understand the requirement of culturally safe inclusive practice and have a clear idea of traditional concepts of health.

1 month


The health care cannot be a commodity that can be purchased or accessed by only a selected sector of the society. It can be considered as the one of the basic necessities of human life that each and every individual has an equal right to. The marginalized populations are often not given the opportunity to access the health services with as much ease and comfort as the rest of the society which further deteriorates their health, and the educational and economic restrictions are the most important contributors. This paper focused on the mental health status of women in LA as a marginalized population and exploring the health inequities the population has been facing, concluding with an action plan to better address the issues of the marginalized population in future practice and include them as much as possible.


Blacks, Latinos, women found less likely to get the mental health care they need – Daily News. (2018). Retrieved from

Corrigan, P. W., Druss, B. G., & Perlick, D. A. (2014). The impact of mental illness stigma on seeking and participating in mental health care. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 15(2), 37-70.

Eldredge, L. K. B., Markham, C. M., Ruiter, R. A., Kok, G., & Parcel, G. S. (2016). Planning health promotion programs: an intervention mapping approach. John Wiley & Sons.

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Gilmer, T. P., Henwood, B. F., Goode, M., Sarkin, A. J., & Innes-Gomberg, D. (2016). Implementation of integrated health homes and health outcomes for persons with serious mental illness in Los Angeles County. Psychiatric Services, 67(10), 1062-1067.

Herndon, B., Asch, S. M., Kilbourne, A. M., Wang, M., Lee, M., Wenzel, S. L., … & Gelberg, L. (2016). Prevalence and predictors of HIV testing among a probability sample of homeless women in Los Angeles County. Public Health Reports.

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Tudor, K. (2013). Mental health promotion: Paradigms and practice. Routledge.

Wong, C. F., Schrager, S. M., Holloway, I. W., Meyer, I. H., & Kipke, M. D. (2014). Minority stress experiences and psychological well-being: The impact of support from and connection to social networks within the Los Angeles House and Ball communities. Prevention Science, 15(1), 44-55.