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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Mental Health Resource

Q. I am looking for current mental health statistics for California. Do you know of any Web resources that I can access for these statistics by state? What other resources would you recommend? Is there any annual publication that records this information?

A. I'm not quite sure what statistics you are after, but here are some leads. First, for very general statistical information on rates of mental disorder, suicide, etc., you can log on to the Center for Disease Control's website (www.cdc.gov/nchs) and use the search feature to find a state-by-state break down of self-reported frequent mental distress for 1993-96.

Much more specific information might be found in a recent study entitled, "Lifetime prevalence of and risk factors for psychiatric disorders among Mexican migrant farmworkers in California", by Alderate et al (Am J Public Health 2000 Apr;90(4):608-14). Since this is probably more specific than you want, you might try contacting the lead author at the Department of Health Policy Administration, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, to see if they can point you in the right direction.

You might also try the website, www.healthlaw.org/california.shtml. However, I think the best approach would be to contact the California chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), which can be reached at 916-567-0163, in Sacramento. I am betting they can provide you with some assistance. Good luck.

March 2001

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