July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

In May 2008, the US House of Representatives announced July as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity. Anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background. However, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult.

Mental illness affects one in four American families and people in diverse communities are no exception. The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that minorities are less likely to receive diagnosis and treatment for their mental illness, have less access to and availability of mental health services, often receive a poorer quality of mental health care, and are underrepresented in mental health research.

Diverse communities face many barriers such as higher levels of stigma, misinformation about mental health and language that prevent them from receiving care. Even when they are able to access treatment, these communities often receive poorer quality care due to lack of cultural competence, bias and inadequate resources. This results in misdiagnosis, dropping out of treatment and a longer time to achieve recovery.

This month we will be sharing facts and figures about minority mental health to help spread awareness! Check out our Facebook page for more facts as well!