CDC study: Black adults have higher rate of mental health-related emergency room visits

A man enters the emergency room at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves, File)

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Black adults in the US are twice as likely to visit the emergency department for mental health-related concerns as white adults.

WABE spoke with one of the report’s authors, Zach Peters, an analyst with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

He said the findings held true across all categories of mental health disorders, including substance use disorders and mood disorders.

Hispanic adults had the lowest rate of mental health-related emergency department visits.

The report did not examine the reasons for these disparities, but previous research has suggested that people of color are often underdiagnosed and undertreated for mental illness.

The study also found that younger adults were more likely to visit the emergency for mental health concerns than older adults.