Depression survey reveals implications for multicultural communities

ARLINGTON, Va. — Americans do not believe that they know much about depression, but are highly aware of the risks of not receiving care, according to a survey released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Yet research demonstrates that people of different cultural groups are at increased risk for untreated depression and suicide:

  •  One in five Latina teenagers in the United States has seriously
    considered or attempted suicide.
  • More than 15 million Asian Americans live with depression; it’s the second leading cause of death for Asian American and Pacific Islanders.
  • Misdiagnosis and under-treatment are common in the African American community. Only 12 percent of women seek treatment.

 The survey provides a “three-dimensional” measurement of responses from members of the general public who do not know anyone with depression, caregivers of adults diagnosed with depression and adults living with the illness. 

Survey findings include that when people living with depression discontinue medication or talk therapy, cost is a common reason, but other factors include a desire “to make it on my own” whether they believe treatment is working and in the case of medication, side effects. In addition, nearly 60 percent of people living with depression reported that they rely on their primary care physicians rather than mental health professionals for treatment.  To view full survey results click here.