The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded Professor of Health Policy and Management Lonnie R. Snowden a three-year, $1.3 million research grant.

Snowden will use the funding to study disparities in mental health care and treatment between Black and White Americans covered by the Affordable Care Act. Mental illness disproportionately affects Black people, who are more likely than their White counterparts to experience poverty, unemployment, and involvement with the criminal justice system—all of which exacerbate poor mental health.

“Funding enables us to assemble and merge diverse data sets to extend our research beyond preliminary studies,” Snowden said.

His study will measure the impact of the Affordable Care Act by comparing states with expanded Medicaid programs to those without expanded programs. Timothy T. Brown, UC Berkeley professor of health economics, and Alison Cuellar, professor of health administration and policy at George Mason University, are co-investigators.