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Poverty and Mental Health Correlation

Kim, S., & Cardemil, E. (2012). Effective psychotherapy with low-income clients: The importance of attending to social class. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 42(1), 27-35. Web.

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The study aims at highlighting the importance of an effective approach to psychotherapy when working with low-income clients. In addition, changes in the United States demographics require that practicing psychologists acknowledge the importance of class and culture in therapy. Kim and Cardemil based the research on their experience with depression prevention programs designed for low-income mothers of Hispanic origins. Their Family Coping Skills Program incorporates the patient’s social class and focuses on prevention rather than treatment. The article provides several recommendations, such as community psychology incorporation, as well as open acknowledgment of differences between therapists and clients. Kim and Cardemil state that modern psychotherapy must alleviate social barriers and become more comprehensive in respect to issues of different classes and backgrounds.

The article discusses a topical issue of inclusive psychotherapy and provides an array of instruments, which can be used to respond to the clients’ needs. It is vital to consider an individual’s background, which includes both culture and social class when designing the treatment program. Kim and Cardemil make a valuable reference to modern demographics as an attempt to draw the community’s attention to the importance of comprehensive psychotherapy. The provided list of possible ways of managing differences may serve as a valuable reference for therapists.

From a counselor’s point of view, this study provides valuable insight regarding difference managing and inclusiveness.

Cook, J.A., & Mueser, K.T. (2016). Is recovery possible outside the financial mainstream? Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 39(4), 295-298. Web.

Cook and Mueser examine the connection between poor mental health and unfortunate financial situation. The research states that poverty can both cause and be a consequence of mental issues. This article refers to a Swedish study, in which participants with poor mental health received financial support every month and demonstrated reduced levels of anxiety and depression. At the same time, the second group did not receive any financial support and showed no improvement in their condition. Cook and Mueser cite the original study’s authors saying that additional sums allowed people to partake in a broader range of social interactions, thus improving some aspects of their mental health. This article suggests several steps to improve the public’s overall mental health by ensuring access to housing, education, and healthcare.

The way poverty and mental health are related presents various research opportunities. Cook and Mueser discuss this issue at length and provide a valuable reference to a practical study. In addition, the authors make a valid point regarding poverty’s role as both a cause and a consequence of poor mental health. Swedish research, to which the present article refers, serves as another case in point.

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Indeed, financial empowerment is a major instrument of mental health improvement. On the other hand, a counselor’s role in this regard is unclear, as it seems to be an issue for the government departments to consider.

Frazier, S.L., Capella, E., & Atkins, M.S. (2007). Linking mental health and after school systems for children in urban poverty: Preventing problems, promoting possibilities? Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 34, 389-399. Web.

This study examines children’s mental health concerning urban poverty and explains the importance of quality after-school programs. It is mentioned that such activities’ primary mission should aim at students’ socialization, adaption, and peer relations. The authors argue that afterschool programs are a crucial yet underrated method of improving children’s mental health. In addition, the research shows a high level of public support for increased afterschool program funding, as well. The allocation of additional funds is believed to provide children with access to higher-quality programs. However, afterschool activities face considerable barriers in poor communities, including staff and resource shortages. The authors collaborated with the Chicago Park District to adopt the Summer Treatment Program for poor-background children. Nevertheless, further empirical research is required to evaluate the program’s practical impact on children’s functioning.

The article deals with an issue of paramount importance in today’s society. It highlights the crucial role of high-quality afterschool activities in children’s development. Access to such programs allows students from poor communities to build skills, which are necessary for a person’s social adaptation. The authors describe a range of practical steps, but the research lacks a practical evaluation of the program’s results in terms of children’s development.

This article brings up an important topic, as children remain one of the most vulnerable social groups. Being deprived of quality programs makes it difficult for poor-background students to progress in their studies and further careers, which contradicts the principles of fairness and equality.

Anakwenze, U., & Zuberi, D. (2013). Mental health and poverty in the inner city. Health & Social Work, 38(3), 147-157. Web.

The study focuses on inner cities and the risks, which their populations face following rapid globalization. Anakwenze and Zuberi explain the connection between urban lifestyle and mental health issues. The authors present a list of factors, including, for example, socioeconomic inequality and subsequent poverty-related problems. Unemployment is another major component of the issue, along with neighborhood disorder and high crime rates. The authors also discuss the impact of poverty on children’s mental health. It is said that the overall negative environment caused by poverty and stress significantly limits children’s opportunities in terms of education and socialization. Anakwenze and Zuberi mention family engagement as a crucial strategy in mitigating the aforementioned effects.

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This study presents a range of negative aspects that urban poverty entails. Besides its direct impact, the research mentions secondary effects, too, including joblessness, crime, urban violence, trauma, and a sense of insecurity. All these aspects have a detrimental effect on the public’s overall mental health, but children’s vulnerable position is highlighted in this article, as well. Anakwenze and Zuberi present a series of valid points regarding urbanization, poverty, and the way they affect people’s mental health.

Negative aspects mentioned in this article require a thorough analysis on behalf of a counselor.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Mental health in the workplace. Mental health disorders and stress affect working-age Americans. Web.

This report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examines workplace-related mental disorders that affect many Americans. It lists negative aspects of such conditions in terms of work efficiency, such as decreased productivity, inability to focus on one’s tasks, and coworker communication issues. The CDC’s research considers the workplace environment as one of the key factors that shape an individual’s overall well-being and health. It presents a range of possible practical solutions, including making mental health assessments available to all employees. The report refers to examples of successful implementation of mental health programs by several companies and encourages business and community leaders to follow similar models.

This research provides valuable insight from an official public health institution. The focus of the report is on mental problems caused by a stressful workplace environment, which is a topical issue of the 21st century. While it does not directly examine the connection between mental health and poverty, it gives this issue a different perspective. As mentioned in the report, a poor workplace environment leads to an excessive amount of stress and causes a range of mental problems. At the same time, these problems affect one’s workplace productivity making the situation even worse. Decreased efficiency entails poor professional results, which may reduce one’s earnings and even cause unemployment.

The factors mentioned above practically form a vicious, which can be broken with a professional counselor’s help.

Goodman, L.A., Pugach, M., Skolnik, A., & Smith, L. (2013). Poverty and mental health practice: Within and beyond the 50-minute hour. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(2), 182-190. Web.

This article focuses on the negative effects of poverty on the public’s mental health and possible solutions to this issue. It puts stress and social exclusion on top of the most severe poverty implications list. The authors refer to prior studies, which concluded that low-income individuals rarely participate in mental health programs, as opposed to wealthier patients. The issue is caused by such individuals’ inability to afford quality treatment or insurance, which serves as a practical barrier. In addition, there are social and psychological obstacles that prevent low-income patients from seeking treatment, as they may worry that psychotherapists will not completely understand their situation. This article aims at encouraging practitioners to become collaborators rather than medical experts to provide low-income individuals with adequate therapy programs.

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The authors of this research refer to relevant studies underlining the objective difference between low-income and affluent patients. The class-competent practice proposed in this research focuses on eliminating finance-related stress factors, and it may demonstrate a significant improvement in respect to the treatment results. However, the authors state that many practitioners avoid this topic when working with low-income individuals, which is why the issue requires additional attention. As suggested by the authors, addressing patients’ social and cultural contexts is crucial in effective psychotherapy.

From a counselor’s point of view, it is highly important to provide adequate help to vulnerable social groups.

Santiago, C.D., Kaltman, S., & Miranda, J. (2013). Poverty and mental health: How do low-income adults and children fare in psychotherapy? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(2), 115-126. Web.

The purpose of this article is to review several treatment studies conducted with low-income individuals. The authors confirm previous conclusions, stating that financial issues directly correlate with mental health. According to the included statistics, many people with low income do not receive the therapy they need, and for children, the rate is about 75%. Furthermore, the evidence is provided that ethnic minority women are less likely to seek help following childbirth. The authors connect the tendency to a set of barriers discussed by other researchers, as well. The article refers to a series of studies that demonstrate the positive effect of specific evidence-based programs tailored to suit the needs of low-income and vulnerable social groups. The authors recommend that these methods be introduced in practice on a universal basis.

This article makes several valid points regarding psychotherapy’s accessibility for vulnerable social groups. The authors emphasize that there are barriers on both sides: while low-income individuals remain hesitant about seeking professional help, practitioners often disregard the importance of discussed aspects, not adjusting to the patients’ specific needs. The article presents relevant statistics indicating that evidence-based programs bring significant results.

The importance of this article for a counselor lies in its aim at vulnerable social groups and ethnic minorities. Such individuals are often underprivileged, which is why it is crucial to provide them with adequate care and help them find their deserved place in society.

Hudson, C.G. (2005). Socioeconomic status and mental illness: Tests of the social causation and selection hypotheses. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75(1), 3-18.

This article aims to examine the connection between one’s socioeconomic status and mental health. It is based on five hypotheses, which explain the correlation in terms of economic stress, family, geographical, social, and generational factors. The study was conducted between 1994 and 2000 and examined the characteristics of a preexisting database of thirty-four thousand patients. In addition, the 2005 U.S. Census results in Massachusetts were analyzed and revealed that the inverse correlation between an individual’s socioeconomic status and mental health was moderate to strong.

Hudson researched the issue at length and tested five hypotheses in practice. The study demonstrates an in-depth analysis of the subject matter supported by the numerical data of over thirty thousand patients. The results confirmed the initial theory regarding mental health’s inverse correlation with social and economic status. However, as stated by the author, most of the research was conducted on the community level with a small amount of additional individual examination. It may be possible that the results would vary if a similar study were to be carried out on a personal level. Nevertheless, this article serves as an important reference and confirms the deep connection between mental health and poverty.

The value of Hudson’s study for a counselor consists of an in-depth analysis of the correlation and presented numerical data.

Bryant-Davis, T., Ullman, S.E., Tsong, Y., Tilman, S., & Smith, K. (2010). Struggling to survive: sexual assault, poverty, and mental health outcomes of African American women. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80(1), 61-70. 

This article aims at exploring the issue of sexual assault and poverty’s effect on African American women in terms of their mental health. The authors refer to the statistics demonstrating that African American women face higher risks of sexual assault and persistent poverty. The range of examined mental conditions includes substance use, PTSD, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Four hundred and thirteen African American women between 18 and 71 participated in the study, having reported a history of sexual abuse. In general, the participants were of different backgrounds in terms of their education, marital status, employment, and sexual orientation. The research revealed a positive correlation between poverty and three of the examined mental conditions, suicidality being the exception.

This article proves that African American women with low income tend to suffer from depression, PTSD, and illicit drug use following a sexual assault. As confirmed by statistics, this issue is topical in the examined social group, which requires that it should be taken into consideration during therapy. Nevertheless, the authors mention that the sample was not representative, and adding medium to high income as another variable could alter the results.

The research deals with an issue unique to the African American communities and serves to remind counselors that each social group has its tendencies, which require a particular approach to therapy.

Plotnick, D.F. (2016). Affording mental health care. Health Affairs, 35(6), 1144-1145. Web.

Plotnick’s work analyzes the British book Thrive by Richard Layard and David M. Clark in its connection with the present-day situation in the United States and other developed countries. Statistics are presented that demonstrate mental conditions’ global prevalence, as their incidence rate exceeds that of a range of illnesses, including cancer. Moreover, the World Health Organization considers mental conditions to be a global threat. However, only about 30% of adults and 10% of children receive proper treatment concerning their mental health. Plotnick speaks about the importance of accessible cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps to alleviate anxiety and depression. In conclusion, the author encourages efforts made by Layard and Clark, expressing hope that more attention will be paid to mental illnesses in the United States and worldwide.

This review includes valuable statistics, placing mental conditions above cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer on the list of serious threats to one’s health. It summarizes the important points of Thrive by Layard and Clark. The structure of Plotnick’s work highlights the importance of evidence-based treatment, such as CBT, school psychology, and parenting programs. The importance of the issue for the United States is emphasized, and valid points are made regarding the positive impact of effective treatment on both individuals and the state.

A counselor needs to realize the importance of their field, and the statistics given the Plotnick serve that purpose.

Summary and Conclusion

The analysis of the articles provides a comprehensive understanding of the issue’s scale and current state. Despite significant economic progress, the problem of poverty persists even in the most developed countries. Low-income individuals are in the focus of the present study, as they represent a vulnerable group that is more likely to suffer from a range of mental disorders, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The research shows that this hypothesis is supported by evidence from several authors’ works. In addition, the issue is especially topical among ethnic minorities, which prevents its members from making progress in their careers and contributes to the overall inequality.

As a matter of fact, it is every person’s natural aspiration to succeed in life and achieve meaningful goals. However, mental issues serve as substantial impediments, even though their importance is often underrated. As shown by the research, an unhealthy workplace environment causes an array of mental problems, preventing employees from reaching their full capacity. Moreover, unemployed citizens with mental disorders face insurmountable challenges when attempting to find a job. Effective evidence-based therapy would alleviate the barriers and allow such individuals to be employed and realize their full potential.

The problem requires a comprehensive approach, implying effective intervention on all levels. First of all, children from low-income families demonstrate higher risks of developing mental illnesses from a young age. Therefore, evidence-based therapy is essential through both educational systems and afterschool programs. This way, it might be easier to fight the problem through prevention rather than treatment, as it would help alleviate social constraints put on children from low-income families. As far as adults are concerned, the key solution might consist of affordable psychotherapy. The research suggests that low-income individuals often avoid counseling simply because they do not have enough money to spend on it. It might be useful to implement a range of social programs that would promote social integration and inclusiveness through non-profit organizations. In addition, the increasing role of the government could make a significant contribution, as well. It is likely that individuals, who obtain adequate care through the programs mentioned above, will be willing to give back to the community that helped them succeed, thus ensuring the programs’ functioning in the long run.

In conclusion, the situation regarding mental illnesses and their inverse correlation with poverty remains alarming. People with low income form the risk group, as they are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, and PTSD. In the long term, these conditions may become worse without proper therapy and cause even more debilitating disorders. Several obstacles impede the solution to this problem, including low-income individuals’ inability to afford treatment along with their unwillingness to seek counseling in the first place. Furthermore, practitioners often ignore the needs of specific demographics, even though evidence-based therapy has proved useful, according to various studies. Overall, this problem can be solved only through combined comprehensive efforts made on all levels, which would significantly improve the country’s social landscape.

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