It’s National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
Maybe you participated in Mental Health Awareness Month back in May. That could have meant opening up to a friend about how you’re feeling or saying no because you felt yourself careening toward burnout. However you chose to get involved, it probably felt good.
Now you’ve got another opportunity to be an advocate either for yourself or for the people around you. It’s National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. As we work toward equity, it’s an important reminder that serious disparities still exist today.
Why this month is so important
While mental health is a serious issue for all Americans, it’s an extra-pressing issue for ethnic and racial minorities. You don’t have to take our word for it. The HHS has some seriously eye-opening statistics here:
- Black Americans are nearly twice as likely to report feeling sad or feeling like everything is an effort all or most of the time — but they’re half as likely to have received mental health care in the last year as white Americans
- The rate of death by suicide is 20% higher among people indigenous to the continental U.S. and Alaska than among white Americans
- Out of all Southeast Asian refugees receiving mental health care in America, about 70% have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Hispanic Americans are 50% less likely to get mental health care than white Americans
- Pacific Islanders and native Hawaiian high schoolers are more likely to contemplate suicide than their white peers
If you want to dig deeper into the data on mental health conditions in Americans in minority groups, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has some in-depth studies you can check out.
For now, though, even a quick skim will show you one thing: most people in minority groups are less likely to get mental health care.
Closing the gap
We all need help sometimes. There are a lot of obstacles to mental health treatment, and they can range from stigmas in your specific community against it to fear that you won’t be able to afford the care you need.
Fortunately, things are changing. First, National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is a great time to remember that mental healthcare is just like physical healthcare. Sometimes you need it, and seeking out help isn’t an admission that you did anything wrong. You don’t “cause” depression or anxiety the same way you don’t cause a cold or the flu.
Secondly, there are resources out there to help. MentalHealth.gov is a great place to start. We also recommend looking up counseling centers and therapists in your area. If price is an issue, a lot of people and organizations offer sliding-scale fees, scholarships, or other resources to help.
Everyone deserves mental health care when they need it. If you want an easy way to get involved there, join our Buy Doughp, Give Hope initiative. Anytime you buy any Doughp product, we give a portion of our proceeds to the SHE RECOVERS Foundation.