National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
July is a powerful month as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month raises the awareness of the mental health of minorities. Multicultural communities often face unique issues when getting care for mental health. Despite advances in research and health impartiality, disparities in mental health care continue to exist. Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established to make mental health treatment more accessible for diverse populations.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care. Poor mental health care access and quality of care contribute to poor mental health outcomes, including suicide, among racial and ethnic minority populations. (OMH)
Empowering individuals and communities with resources and information on where to go for help is the first step. Next, connect with all generations to educate and empower those in minority communities when it comes to detecting and treating mental illness and let them know there is help available.
Bebe Moore Campbell, founder of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Urban Los Angeles chapter, said in 2005, “Once my loved ones accepted [my] diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years. Can’t we, as a nation, begin to speed up that process? We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African Americans… It’s not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.” (NAMI.org)
According to NAMI, Campbell was a champion for mental health education and support among individuals of diverse communities. Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender, or identity.
Bebe Moore Campbell, founder of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Urban Los Angeles chapter.
ADOLESCENTS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Mental disorders, including anxiety, mood, attention, and disruptive behavior disorders, can lead to many negative health and social consequences in late adolescence. Most seriously, mental disorders can lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in youths ages 10 to 19 in the United States.
Research signifies that compared with whites, growing evidence indicates that racial/ethnic minority adolescents are more vulnerable to mental disorders but less likely to use mental health services. Minority adolescents’ underutilization of mental health services is compounded by their tendency to withdraw prematurely from treatment. Adolescents will not fully benefit from mental health services if they terminate treatment prematurely.
Camino a Casa is one of the leading providers of mental health that serves adolescents and families in a diverse culture. To learn more about our programs, please contact the admissions team (805) 366-4000.
To learn more about Minority Mental Health Month or get involved, go to:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH).
Retrieved from: https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/content.aspx?ID=9447