NEWS | September 18, 2014

Aguilar-Gaxiola presents NIH seminar on mental-health treatment gaps among Latinos

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, professor of clinical internal medicine and director of the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, on Thursday, Sept. 18, presented a seminar entitled, “If You Build It, Will They Come? Addressing Mental-Health Treatment Gaps in Latinos,” at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola presenting at the National Institutes of Health Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola presenting at the National Institutes of Health

Psychiatric disorders are major drivers of disability and health-care costs in the United States, and are associated with economic disadvantage. According to Aguilar-Gaxiola, the vast majority who suffer from them — 50 percent to 90 percent — did not receive care during the previous year.

Aguilar-Gaxiola’s presentation examined the extent of this gap among ethnically and racially diverse populations and ways that treatment-gap data are being translated into policy and services to address unmet mental-health needs among underserved groups on the state and national levels.

The presentation was part of the NIH’s observation of National Hispanic Heritage Month through the NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series. Aguilar-Gaxiola currently is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Health Organization's World Mental Health Surveys Consortium, and is its coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean.