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Soc Work. 2007 Oct;52(4):295-308.

Engaging women who are depressed and economically disadvantaged in mental health treatment.

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  • 1School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


Women disadvantaged by poverty, as well as racial or ethnic minority status, are more likely to experience depression than the rest of the U.S. population. At the same time, they are less likely to seek or remain in treatment for depression in traditional mental health settings. This article explores a therapeutic, psychosocial engagement strategy developed to address the barriers to treatment engagement and the application of this strategy to a special population--women of color and white women who are depressed and living on low incomes. The conceptual foundations of this intervention-ethnographic and motivational interviewing--as well as its key techniques and structure are reviewed. Finally, a case example description and promising pilot data demonstrate the usefulness of this strategy.

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