Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Tips to Help You Take Care of Yourself
This month, minority mental health awareness is in the spotlight. It’s important to talk about minority mental health issues because they are often overlooked and mistreated. As many of us know, mental illnesses can be triggered by a number of factors including trauma, environmental stressors (like COVID-19), or even genetics. Here, we talk about the importance of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month and raise awareness to allow those in minority groups to have access to and receive the mental health support they need and deserve.
What is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month?
Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was founded in 2008 by Mental Health America. Every July, its purpose is to shed light on the multitude of mental health experiences within BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities and others that face disproportionate inequities due to systemic barriers and historical adversity.
Why Mental Health Is so Important
Due to historical experiences, social disparities, and cultural differences, minority groups face a number of unique obstacles and challenges to receive the mental health support they need. Minority communities face unique situations in their everyday lives, such as discrimination, unequal access to education, housing, and employment opportunities, and language barriers. As a result, minority groups experience higher rates of depression symptoms, anxiety disorders, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. During the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, racial and ethnic minority groups have also experienced high rates of substance misuse related to access to care and psychosocial stress.
Below are just a few statistics that demonstrate the imbalance of mental health care received by members of minority communities:
- African American and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about ½ the rate of White Americans in the past year.
- 36% of Hispanics with depression received care, versus 60% of whites.
- In 2018, 58.2% of Black and African American young adults 18-25 and 50.1% of adults 26-49 with serious mental illness did NOT receive treatment.
- 28% of Asian American adults, 30% of African American adults, and 33% of Latinx Adults received mental health treatment compared to the U.S. average of 43%.
We have gathered several resources that may be beneficial to you or your loved one. It’s important to note these resources are not intended to replace any psychological treatment with a licensed mental health provider. If you notice that you are struggling with a mental health condition, please seek treatment from a licensed mental health provider.
Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
Health Disparities Data Widget
This widget provides an easy way to find health disparities data for critical health issues. Identifying and addressing these issues can reduce the leading causes of death and preventable illnesses.
This website offers strategies and resources to help people cope with feelings of isolation, loneliness, stress and anxiety particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MentalHealth.gov provides one-stop access to U.S. government mental health and mental health problems information.
Behavioral Health Equity Resources
This resource includes data on health disparities and health care quality among diverse populations and information for improving health literacy and policy as well as cultural and linguistic competency.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress.
1-800-273-8255 (for English)
1-888-628-9454 (for Spanish)
Our Providers at Bethany
It is imperative that you have competent, professional providers who provide a safe and trusting environment that you feel comfortable in. This helps assist in eradicating minority stigma, bias, and mental health misdiagnoses.
At Bethany Medical, our Psychiatry Program is under the direction of Dr. Keshavpal Reddy MD. He is Board Certified in general Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. Our providers, Mary Ameh, FNP-C and Lauren Tessneer, FNP-BC provide behavioral health services for the treatment of a broad range of mental health conditions including:
- ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
- Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum, Post-traumatic and Dissociative Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Mood Disorders: Depression, Bipolar
- Neurocognitive Disorders: Dementia
- Personality Disorders
- Psychotic Disorders: Schizophrenia
- Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
- Sleep-Wake Disorders
- Substance-Related Disorders: Suboxone Treatment
- Sexual Dysfunctions
- Tobacco-Related Disorders
- Abuse and Neglect
Schedule an Appointment
Now, more than ever, the importance of mental health cannot be ignored. As we continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year later, feelings of anxiety and other signs of stress may become more pronounced. Poor mental health care access and quality of care contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide, among racial and ethnic minority populations.
If you find yourself or a loved one struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to request an appointment with our team. Our compassionate providers provide a safe and trusting environment where you can feel comfortable and listened to.
If you experience any urgent symptoms such as suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, self-harming behaviors, or persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or chronic difficulties with managing life, please seek immediate treatment from a licensed mental health provider.