National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Mental health services need to dispel disparity based on racial differences

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: Mental health services need to dispel disparity based on racial differences

Mental health has a huge impact on an individual’s overall health. A healthy mind has always been considered the key to a healthy life. The prevalence of health issues, be it physical or mental, among the people can shake the well-being of the nation as a whole.

In America, one in every five adults suffers from mental illness, with half of these conditions developing by the age of 14 years, as per the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). Despite such alarming statistics, nearly two-thirds of Americans afflicted with mental illness do not seek professional help, and this trend is more common among minority communities. According to the NAMI, racial and ethnic groups in the United States are less likely to seek and get help for mental health issues.

Previous studies have shown that African Americans are less likely to seek out help or access mental health care services than the Non-Hispanic whites. And even if they seek help, chances are that they discontinue the treatment midway, and mostly, reach out to primary healthcare settings, rather than seeking treatment in mental health services settings.

Cultural stigma, coupled with a history of unethical treatment toward minorities, can be held accountable for the prevailing trend among ethnic groups in the U.S. African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans and other minority groups are more likely to experience mental health difficulties due to fear of discrimination, confinement, cultural pressures and violence.

Achieving mental wellness across ethnicities

A number of healing options are readily available, along with potential psychotherapy, which can help people across ethnicities, including African American, overcome severe mental conditions. With more people understanding the limitations and struggles of racial communities in America, there is more chance of better recovery options for mentally distressed patients.

The three most important aspects that should be taken into account in pursuit of attaining mental wellness in minority groups are:

Education: Education can help curb the stigma surrounding mental health. The mind is like any other organ of a living being, thus, it is only normal that the mind can also get sick. Public awareness initiatives play a vital role in educating people that maintaining mental health is very important and that one must seek professional help to recover from any kind of mental disease.

Diverse and culturally integrated mental healthcare: Professionally, ethnic minorities are not seen getting engaged in health promotion activities in large numbers. Cultural diversity in the U.S. healthcare practice can help minorities to be vocal about their mental health issues.

Responsible family and community: People with mental health issues will always consider family and friends their first source to share their problems with, as per a nationally representative survey of Latinos conducted in 2014. A friendly and open discussion surrounding mental health can lend support to people who are struggling with mental health issues.

The authors of article, “Towards Culturally Centered Integrative Care for Addressing Mental Health Disparities Among Ethnic Minorities,” published by the American Psychological Association said, “A health care team that considers culture, shows respect and assesses and affirms patient differences will provide patients a comfortable, supportive environment to express their mental health concerns.”

Spreading awareness

To spread awareness about the importance of mental wellness, to increase access to care, and to eliminate the stigma of mental illness among minorities, the month of July is being observed as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month since 2008.

If your loved one is suffering from any mental condition, you can seek the help of Sovereign Mental Health Services. To know about various treatments for mental illnesses, you may contact our experts by calling at 24/7 helpline number 866-954-0529 or online chat. They can counsel you about your problem and guide to one of our state-of-the-art mental illness treatment facilities depending on your requirement.


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