Minority Mental Health Awareness Month July
Mental health is an area in which minorities are frequently under served. July is dedicated to bringing awareness so that minorities feel more comfortable seeking out counseling from a psychiatric hospital or psychologist’s office. Minority mental health awareness is also about the mental health field, which needs to better accommodate minorities who are just as prone to mental illness as any population. Here at Strategic Behavioral Center in Charlotte, we are a mental health facility dedicated to all populations and believe that a minority health awareness month is both important and necessary.
The Disparity in Mental Health
Minorities are less likely to seek help at mental health facilities, and the opportunity and quality of help for those individuals is lacking. According to the National Alliance for Mental Health, African Americans are 20% more likely to experience mental health problems, including depression and suicide. Among Native Americans, suicide and depression are extremely prevalent. The problem is compounded because areas in which many minorities live are without proper mental health facilities to deal with individuals experiencing mental health illness. Minorities are just as likely or even more likely to encounter mental health issues and yet, the facilities that can effectively treat these problems are not in minority communities. Until mental health centers start to have more of a presence near minorities, a disparity will continue to exist.
The Stigma of Mental Health Among Minorities
If you’ve seen an advertisement or commercial for mental health, it involves somebody experiencing what looks like depression. For a long time, that role has not been portrayed by a white person and not a minority. Both overtly and subconsciously, our media has a large impact on our culture. When such an influential force only shows us non-minorities having mental health problems and seeking help, it’s easy to assume that they are the only group in that situation. However, human beings of all races and backgrounds experience mental health issues, especially those in poverty which has beens disproportionate amount of minorities. Mental health is a human problem. Due to the media’s treatment of the issue, minorities can often feel as though they aren’t susceptible to mental health problems or worse yet, that they are not welcome at locations where they can receive counseling. It’s true that a general stigma exists for all those who have mental disorders, however it is most notably present within minority groups.
Mental health is a serious issue for minorities and much more needs to be done. More facilities need to be in locations where they can serve minorities. Media campaigns need to focus on representing patients of all ethnicities and financial standings. A major factor in adding stress to minorities is poverty, which needs to be acknowledged by mental health centers, psychologists, and government institutions. Psychologists, behavioral health centers, psychiatric hospitals, and all other facilities dealing with mental health need to be trained to accommodate and welcome people from all ethnic backgrounds. It’s also a responsibility for all of us to be advocates. Speak up for minorities and underserved and underrepresented communities. Speak up for equality. If anyone you know, including someone of a minority group, is experiencing mental health difficulties, help them seek out proper treatment. At the Strategic Behavioral Center in Charlotte, our staff is trained and ready to deal with these situations. We understand the importance of every patient’s cultural background and believe that each patient deserves equal and individualized counseling for recovery. Please give us a call at 855-537-2262.