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Hector Gonzalez on Gaps in Depression Treatment

Dr. Gonzalez talks about surprises that emerged from this NIMH-funded study and tackles the question of why so many Americans are not getting the level of care they need.

Transcript

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Major Depression – Public Health Quandary: Significant Gap Exists in Depression Treatment: Dr. Hector Gonzalez, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.
Nearly half of all Americans diagnosed with major depression don’t receive the treatment they need according to an NIMH-supported survey. Dr. Hector Gonzalez of Wayne State University is the lead author of this study. In this podcast, Dr. Gonzalez talks about surprises that emerged from the data and how one group of Americans may help shed light on how to increase the overall level of care.

Time: 00:02:06 | Size: 1.94 MB
Speaker: Dr. Hector Gonzalez
Description: Dr. Gonzalez talks about surprises that emerged from this NIMH-funded study and tackles the question of why so many Americans are not getting the level of care they need.

NIMH Radio… from Bethesda.

Dr. Hector Gonzalez: "In reading what we know about depression care in the United States… I always felt there were some shortcomings."

Announcer: The need for more information about specific groups of Americans is what drove Dr. Hector Gonzalez of Detroit's Wayne State University and his colleagues to collect this large sampling of data on treatment for major depression. We asked Dr. Gonzalez what surprises caught his attention…

Dr. Hector Gonzalez: "Well, there were a few… and the first one that really jumped out to me was the higher use of psychotherapy over pharmacotherapy that nationally among people who meet criteria for depression. That was a complete surprise."

Announcer: And in terms of disadvantaged groups seeking care…

Dr. Hector Gonzalez: "I expected most ethnic, racial minorities to be… to have lower use than the majority white population. And I was a bit surprised to see that… for Puerto Ricans for example… had actually higher rates than whites, blacks, Mexicans and the like. The take-away for me was… what are they doing right and what can we learn from that group in particular."

Announcer: If only half of Americans, diagnosed with major depression are receiving treatment, a natural question to ask is why? Dr. Gonzalez believes the answers come from mental health professionals on the front lines…

Dr. Hector Gonzalez: "The why, I think, is pretty apparent to the clinician who has first-hand experience-that is, there's poverty, there's lack of health insurance and there's also a lack of understanding of what kind types of care are available and effective."

Dr. Hector Gonzalez joining us today on NIMH radio.