Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
July marks Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental issues are common -- more than 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness. Mental health issues are treatable and often preventable, but not everyone has access to the resources they need. People in some racial and ethnic minority groups face more challenges than others getting mental health care. This can be due to many different reasons, such as lack of financial resources and barriers to accessing adequate health insurance. Stigma or negative ideas about mental health care may also prevent people from seeking mental health services.
There are also environmental factors that impact mental health and wellness. Poverty certainly limits access to mental healthcare. Poverty can also be a source of trauma, as can experiencing or witnessing racial discrimination and racial violence.
During this month, I challenge you to find ideas for helping minority populations with mental health challenges and to educate yourself on topics such as:
Using non-stigmatizing language
Knowing about community resources
Understanding implicit bias and microaggressions
Self-care, including coping with loss and stress management.
For more information, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Heath at National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.