Overview: Reducing Health Disparities
Reducing disparities in health will give everyone a chance to live a healthy life and improve the quality of life of all Americans.
A health disparity is a difference in health outcomes across subgroups of the population, often linked to social, economic or environmental disadvantages. Behavioral health disparities persist in diverse communities, including racial and ethnic groups, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) populations, and people with disabilities, transition-age youth, and young adults. Within these populations there can be increased mental health and substance use disorders. These diverse populations tend to have less access to care, lower or disrupted service use, and poorer behavioral health outcomes.
An important aim and focus for VCBH is to identify and expand local data sources that indicate risk factors, community needs, protective factors and measure outcomes among multiple subpopulations residing within Ventura County. With local data, we can strengthen how we improve practice techniques and innovate service programs - efforts needed to proactively reform our behavioral health systems.
In 2014, the Office of Health Equity and Training (OHET) was established within VCBH to better assess and address the needs of underserved communities within Ventura County. Since that time, the OHET assessed some needs of these underserved communities along with other at-risk/vulnerable populations using existing data. Over time, these data will be used to better inform and gauge prevention efforts among underserved/vulnerable/at-risk populations. Although ethnic minorities such as Hispanics/Latinos, African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and others may be more vulnerable to substance use, local data—both quantitative and qualitative—are extremely limited. And because there may be major differences in how consequences are experienced by these groups, we need more local research to understand specific prevention needs.
Prevention Services is committed to addressing at-risk and underserved populations and their communities in Ventura County. Source: County of Ventura, Strategic Prevention Plan, 2017-2022.
- Portrait of Promise: The California Statewide Plan to Promote Health and Mental Health Equity, Report to the Legislature and the People of California by the Office of Health Equity, California Department of Public Health, August 2015
- The Social Determinants of Mental Health, Michael T. Compton, M.D., M.P.H., and Ruth S. Shim, M.D., M.P.H., 2015
- Designing Healthy Communities, Richard J. Jackson, 2011
- HHS Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities outlines goals and actions to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.
SAMHSA OFFICE OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH EQUITYwww.samhsa.gov/behavioral-health-equity
The Office of Behavioral Health Equity (OBHE) works to reduce mental health and substance use disparities and improve access to quality care.
- Black or African American - Resources on this population include national survey reports, agency and federal initiatives, and related behavioral health resources. www.samhsa.gov/behavioral-health-equity/black-african-american
- Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander - Resources include national survey reports, agency and federal initiatives, related behavioral health resources, and in-language resources. www.samhsa.gov/behavioral-health-equity/aanhpi
- American Indian and Alaska Native - Resources include national survey reports, agency and federal initiatives, and related behavioral health resources. www.samhsa.gov/behavioral-health-equity/ai-an
- Hispanic or Latino - Resources include national survey reports, agency and federal initiatives, and related behavioral health and Spanish-language resources. www.samhsa.gov/behavioral-health-equity/hispanic-latino
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) - Resources include national survey reports, agency and federal initiatives, and related behavioral health resources. www.samhsa.gov/behavioral-health-equity/lgbt
WEBSITE RESOURCESRead the report.
- LGBTQ+ in Ventura County. Go to http://www.wellnesseveryday.org/lgbtq