Shining a Spotlight on #MinorityMentalHealthMonth
Shining a Spotlight on Minority Mental Health Month
July is Minority Mental Health Month, and a time to bring awareness to the unique challenges that minorities face when it comes to mental health and mental health treatment. While people from every socioeconomic and racial background can suffer from mental health disorders, the concept of minority mental health remains a significant issue in this country, and around the world. By educating and contributing to the dialogue both during and after Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, we can all do our part to elevate minority voices and ensure that everyone gets access to the care that they need.
Understanding the challenges that minorities face when it comes to mental health starts with education. Substance abuse and other mental health disorders are not genetically more prevalent within minority populations, just as they are not problems that affect minorities alone. Instead, environmental and cultural factors like social norms, discrimination, racism, and poverty perpetuate trauma and make it more difficult to get the help that’s needed.
So how do these factors play out? Here are some statistics that help explain the disparities inherent in mental health among minority populations.
In 2017, 41.5% of youth ages 12-17 received care for a major depressive episode, but only 35.1% of black youth and 32.7% of Hispanic youth received treatment for their condition.
– African Americans are 20% more likely to report serious psychological distress than the rest of the population.
– Asian American adults are less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic group.
– Among young adults ages 18 to 24, Native Americans have higher rates of suicide than any other ethnicity and higher rates than the general population.
– LGBTQ individuals are more than twice as likely as heterosexual men and women to have a mental health disorder in their lifetime.
While anyone from any background can experience mental health distress, there are often very real barriers that stand in the way of those from minority groups getting help. These include a lack of healthcare coverage, a stigma around mental health and treatment, language barriers, and cultural beliefs. It’s critical to acknowledge these disparities when talking about the mental health of minorities and to do everything that we can to remove these barriers and increase equitable access to care.
Help Is Always Available
During Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 2020, commit to doing your part to amplify minority voices in the mental health community and remove the stigma around mental health care. And, if you or a loved one is directly facing the challenges of getting appropriate mental health treatment as a minority, know that help is here for you.
We are committed to serving all individuals in need of mental health care. Please contact us today if you are in need of support.