People with special access needs

Several categories of patients have special needs that may constitute barriers to care if they are not specifically addressed. These include individuals who are hearing-impaired, or those who belong to specific language or cultural groups. The prevalence of psychiatric disorder in ethnic minority or immigrant groups can not be assumed to be the same as in the population as a whole. Meeting the needs of these groups for mental health care, therefore, involves making estimates of the needs of particular groups and then developing special programmes or employing staff with special skills. Most metropolitan area populations contain a number of disparate ethnic groups. Mental health services in these areas must address the needs of these groups by employing staff who are fluent in their languages. They must also be conversant with their culture and the impact it has on mental health and mental health treatment for these people. In some cases, where certain groups are intimidated by the traditional service setting or find it culturally unacceptable, outreach services or satellite centres may need to be established to enable their needs to be met. The needs of people from ethnic minorities are discussed further in Chiapte[..i7.I0.3i.

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