Medical Family Therapy: A Model for Addressing Mental Health Disparities Among Latinos

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Abstract

The Latino population in the United States is growing at an exponential rate. As a medically underserved population, Latinos experience many health disparities, including those related to mental health. Current research suggests that Latinos in the United States are at high risk for problems such as anxiety, depression, somatization disorders, and substance abuse, yet, often these health needs go unmet. This article suggests that an effective method of reaching and treating more Latinos is through medical family therapy. Because Latinos may be more likely to seek help from a physician for mental health complaints, and because marriage and family therapists may be most culturally congruent in their orientation to therapy, collaboration between health care providers and medical family therapists is logical.

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