Mental health, African Americans; historical, service, policy, barriers


The need to focus on service and policy barriers to mental health service delivery for African Americans remains critical. The purpose of this article is to review nineteenth century care as a method for understanding contemporary service and policy barriers. A case study strategy is used to compare the efforts of Pennsylvania and South Carolina using primary and secondary sources to document these developments through a political economy perspective. These findings suggest that the prevailing social, political and economic realities have created mental health disparities along racial lines. Existing barriers are likely rooted in this same reality.

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