Despite the availability of expanded benefits under the Affordable Care Act, a significant number of Hispanic Americans with mental illness do not utilize traditional mental health care. Approximately 30 percent of Hispanic Americans live with a diagnosable mental health disorder each year. However, of the 30 percent who experience mental illness, only 10-20 percent seek any type of standardized mental health care. For example, in 2014, 60-70 percent of Hispanic Americans with a diagnosis of any type of anxiety or depressive disorder had no mental health system engagement within that year. For Hispanic-American children and adolescents with diagnosed mental health disorders in 2015, 80 percent received no formal standardized mental health treatment for their illnesses. The failure to engage Hispanics results in continued unmet needs for behavioral health. Consequently, determining culturally based methods of care to align with patient values and preferences is an emerging priority in behavioral health services provision.
The goal of the MANOS (Mental health Advisory Neighborhood OrganizerS) advisory group partners will be a foundational understanding of the specific concerns, values, activities, and preferences of the Hispanic community in regard to mental health care and treatment and e-health engagement resources. MANOS, a statewide advocacy group utilizing both rural and urban Hispanic-American clients, stakeholders, and community partners, will bring together Hispanic Americans from across Colorado for the formal discussion and development of potential methods for improving Hispanic-American engagement in behavioral health services and engagement interventions with the goal of establishing a foundation for comparative effectiveness research questions and studies.