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  • Minority Mental Health Awareness

    Minority Mental Health Awareness

    Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness. However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month was established to start changing this.

    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) partners with the Department of Health and Human services (DHHS) each July to launch outreach programs and distribute educational material designed for minority groups of the population, including Hispanics, Blacks, Asian/Pacific Islanders, as well as Native Americans.

    Taking on the challenges and stigma of mental health conditions requires all of us to work together. In many communities, these problems are increased by less access to care, cultural stigma and lower quality care.

    Despite advances in health equality, disparities in mental healthcare continue. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. are less likely to have access to and to use mental health services. Lack of mental healthcare access contributes to poor mental health outcomes, like suicide, among these minority populations.

    In reports by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and CDC:

    1. In 2017, 10.5% (3.5 million) of young adults age 18 to 25 had serious thoughts of suicide including 8.3% of non-Hispanic blacks and 9.2% of Hispanics.
    2. In 2017, 7.5% (2.5 million) of young adults age 18 to 25 had a serious mental illness including 7.6% of non-Hispanic Asians, 5.7% of Hispanics and 4.6% of non-Hispanic blacks.
    3. Feelings of anxiety and other signs of stress may become more pronounced during a global pandemic.
    4. People in some racial and ethnic minority groups may respond more strongly to the stress of a pandemic or crisis.

    The purpose of the National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is to ensure that information and assistance are available to meet the needs of minority populations. The campaign also aims at creating awareness among afflicted persons and details about where they can find help. By helping to spread helpful information about mental issues facing minority populations, you will go a long way to assist afflicted persons, their friends, family and others living around them.

    During July, and every month after, let us join together to help those around us who are affected by mental illness, regardless of their background.


    If you would like to speak to someone about better managing your stress and anxiety, or to make an appointment, please call (717) 782-6493 for more information.


    Sources:

    https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/content

    https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/health-awareness/national-minority-mental-health-awareness-month

    https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Minority-Mental-Health-Awareness-Month