Recognizing National Minority Mental Health Month
Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background, race, gender, or identity. While mental illness does not discriminate, one’s background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. Many communities face the problems of less access to care, lower quality of care, and cultural stigma. National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 2008 to combat this disparity among minority groups.
Our identities form by what we believe to be true and by the views of others around us. Many communities, often referred to as marginalized, minority groups, or people of color, are seen as broken or victims. Consequently, these communities must constantly work towards jumping those hurdles to maintain wellbeing.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
- 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.
- Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic group.
- In 2017, 13.3% of youth ages 12-17 had at least one depressive episode, but that number was higher among American Indian and Alaska Native youth at 16.3% and among Hispanic youth at 13.8%.
- In 2017, 18.9% of adults (46.6 million people) had a mental illness. That rate was higher among people of two or more races at 28.6%, non-Hispanic whites at 20.4% and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders at 19.4%.
Despite advances made in health equity, the gap in care persists. It’s been reported by The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services and are less likely to use community services. In addition to this, they are more likely to use emergency departments and more likely to receive lower quality care. Poor mental health care quality and low access contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide, among racial and ethnic minority populations.
The staff at Acenda’s Counseling & Wellness Center understand the unique needs of those in our community. To list, our comprehensive counseling services are able to fit the needs of individuals, couples, and families of all disadvantaged and minority groups. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call us at 844-4-ACENDA.